Musical 'Memphis' comes to Sarasota

Bon Jovi's keyboardist co-wrote the show about the early days of rock music

February 20, 2014 

The nascent days of rock 'n' roll have been the fodder for quite a few Broadway musicals over the years, but probably none have been as successful as "Memphis."

The 2003 musical took six years to get to Broadway, but when it did it ran for three years and won four Tony Awards, including best Musical, best Book of a Musical and Best Score.

The touring production is coming to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Monday, Feb. 24. It's sold out but there's a waiting list, just in case there are cancellations or tickets otherwise become available.

The story's about a young Memphis radio disc jockey names Huey Calhoun who causes a sensation by promoting music by black artists. He angers his bosses but becomes a hero to the teenagers who are hungry for rock 'n' roll music.

It was written by David Bryan, a founding member of Bon Jovi (he's the keyboard player) and Joe DiPietro, who's other well-known show is "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."

Its central character was inspired by the real-life Memphis disc jockey "Daddy-O" Dewey Phillips.

Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 24, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets Sold out. Information: 941-953-3368, www.vanwezel.org.

--Marty Clear

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