Music lovers will be able to “tune in” to the Season of Entertainment 33’s second touring show of the year, when the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith brings the Broadway musical “Memphis” to Fort Smith for an 8 p.m. Nov. 16 show at the Arkansas Best Performing Arts Center.
Inspired by Dewey Phillips, a Memphis disc jockey who caused controversy when he began playing black music on the radio in the 1950s, “Memphis” tells the story of forbidden love between an idealistic radio disc jockey and an ambitious club singer.
Featuring a score by Bon Jovi’s founding member David Bryan and choreography by Sergio Trujillo -- who also choreographed the acclaimed musical “Jersey Boys” -- “Memphis” received rave reviews across the nation, in addition to winning four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical.
Newsday called “Memphis” “an extraordinary show,” and the Associated Press said it is “the essence of what a Broadway musical should be.”
Stacey Jones of Fort Smith, associate vice chancellor for campus and community events, said the show is “incredible.”
“This is one of the best Broadway shows I have seen in recent years,” he said. “You will not want to miss it.”
The show’s musical numbers showcase a variety of music from the era, including rock and roll and jazz, which critics say is sure to win over audience members.
The New York Times said “Memphis” “evokes the powerhouse funk of James Brown, the hot guitar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth harmonies of the Temptations, and the silken bouncy pop of the great girl groups of the period.”
Jones agreed, saying “the music, like the rest of the show, is outstanding. The tunes are catchy, edgy and fun.”
“Memphis” is part of Season of Entertainment 33, a year-long lineup of entertainment sponsored by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. The season features a slew of musicals, plays, and symphonic performances, including “Man from La Mancha,” “Bring it On” and “Crimes of the Heart.”
The Arkansas Best Performing Arts Center is located at the Fort Smith Convention Center, 55 S. 7th St. Tickets for “Memphis” are $55 and $52 and are available by calling the Box Office at 479-788-7300 or visiting www.uafs.universitytickets.com.