From October 6
Chapel off Chapel
An Australasian Premiere and Tony award winning Best Musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love.
MEMPHIS is about a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Come along on their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves – filled with laughter, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock ‘n’ roll. This racially explosive story transports you back to Memphis in the 1950's, when Rock & Roll was about to take over the world, when people were screaming for social progress and when falling in forbidden love was not just frowned upon, it was a crime.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Katherine Armstrong & Robbie Carmellotti DIRECTOR: Dean Drieberg, MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Nathan Firmin, CHOREOGRAPHER: Kirra Sibel, STAGE MANAGER/PROPS: Lauren Rosato, SOUND DESIGN: Marcello Lo Ricco, COSTUME DESIGN: Emilija Tanner, SET DESIGN: Dean Drieberg MARKETING MANAGER: Katherine Armstrong GRAPHIC DESIGN: Ashley Gledhill & Dean Drieberg HAIR & MAKE UP: Rachel Mclean, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/ASSISTANT COMPANY MANAGER: Alexandre Guérin, LIGHTING DESIGN: Jason Bovaird, SET CONSTRUCTION/THEATRE TECH: Simon Gallagher, PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS: Adam Standring, Kyra von Stiegler, and Grace Monaghan
MEMPHIS CONTAINS AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR
PARENTAL GUIDANCE RECOMMENDED U/12
“The sensuous, soulful sound of rhythm ‘n’ blues hits the audience right from the start of this exhilarating new musical. Take a deep breath as the curtain rises because the exuberance doesn’t stop.”
James Elmer (ABC 3 and MTV host) leads as ambitious young DJ Huey Calhoun, who is passionate about African-American rock ‘n’ roll music and is determined to bring it to a mainstream audience. He starts to fall for the incredibly talented and beautiful star on the rise, Felicia, played by Elandrah Eramiha-Feo (In the Heights).
Felicia’s protective older brother Delray, owner of an underground black rock ‘n’ roll bar, is played by Iopu Auva'a (The Color Purple, Dreamgirls). Mandi Lodge (Shirley Valentine, Always… Patsy Cline) will star as “Mama” Gladys Calhoun, Huey’s tough and hard-working mother.
Isaac Lindley (RENT, Our Country’s Good) will play Gator, a very attentive (but mute) bartender at Delray’s Beale Street Club, and Nik Murillo (In The Heights, Canadian Production) playing Bobby, the radio station janitor and unlikely superstar talent. Greg Pascoe (Les Miserables, Into the Woods) will play Mr Simmons, the owner of radio station WHDZ, who begrudgingly gives Huey his big break.
The cast is rounded out with a stellar ensemble, comprising Lucas Biondo, Jason Yang-Westland, Wem Etuknwa, Lachlan Nash, Callum Warrender, Tanisha Buhanec, Agnes Fifita, Tsungirai Wachenuka, Bianca Bruce, Laura Greenhalgh, Stephanie Marion Wood, and Vidya Makan.
Memphis is a 2009 Broadway musical by David Bryan (Bon Jovi's guitarist) and Joe DiPietro (lyrics and book). It is loosely based on the story of Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s. The production won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
MEMPHIS CREATIVE TEAM
Having studied at WAAPA and VCA, Dean is an in-demand creative with two decades of experience in theatre, advertising, short film and fashion events. Dean has worked on over 20 national touring productions such as THE 39 STEPS, BOMBSHELLS and AUSTRALIA DAY; playing at over 40 venues around Australia including The Malthouse and Sydney Opera House. Dean has produced numerous advertising campaigns, TV commercials and music videos. He produced the short film TOMORROW’S LOVERS which was the only Australian film selected to screen at Paris Fashion Week and Berlin Fashion Film Festival in 2012; it also won the 2013 L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival Film Series. Dean has worked on runway shows for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia since 2013 and has also worked on Sydney Fashion Festival, Melbourne Fashion Festival and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week as well as major events for David Jones, Redken and L’Oréal. Dean has been interviewed about his work on FashionTV and in The Age, City Weekly, Broadsheet and Marie Claire. Dean is thrilled to be making is Music Theatre directorial debut with StageArt, having previously worked as Company Manager for SPRING AWAKENING, THE COLOR PURPLE, TITANIC, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, A SUPER BRADY CABARET, DREAMGIRLS and IN THE HEIGHTS.
Originally from New Zealand, Nathan moved to Australia in 1997 to study Music Theatre Performance at the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts. He has worked both in New Zealand and Australia with performance credits including Roger Tramplemaine in Noises Off, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes, Berger in Hair, Eric in Bouncers – the 90’s remix, the Ringmaster in Barnum, the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, a Wickersham Brother in Seussical the Musical and Jidder/Jitter/Mr Jitters/ Phantom Jitter/Jütter in The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!).
Production Team credits include: Direction for Assassins, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables, The Witches of Eastwick, Nunsense, Bugsy Malone, The Full Monty, Avenue Q and Godspell. In 2010 Nathan was awarded the Victorian Drama League Award for Best Direction of a Comedy for Noises Off.
Musical Direction for Chess, The Wind in the Willows, Side by Side by Sondheim, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Pageant, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and most recently The Full Monty for StageArt.
Choreography credits include Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sweet Charity, The Goodbye Girl, South Pacific, A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Little Women and Hairspray.
Nathan is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of SHooSH! Productions. He has co-directed, co-choreographed and co-produced Pageant, The World Goes ‘Round, Closer Than Ever, Putting It Together, the Australasian premiere of bare, I Love You Because, Forbidden Broadway – The Greatest Hits Volume One, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Falsettos and Kiss of the Spiderwoman.
Nathan also runs Patched Keyboards, providing keyboard programming for musical theatre.
Kirra has studied at schools such as VCA, Danceworld Studios 301 and Centrestage Performing Arts School (Showfit) in Musical Theatre, Drama and a variety of Dance disciplines. Since then, Kirra has performed in several shows; ‘All Shook Up’ (CLOC), Gladys in ‘42nd Street’ (CLOC), as Pilar in ‘Legally Blonde’ (CLOC), 'PS I'm Fabulous’ (Ford & Sly) and as Kate [Cover] in ‘Titanic’ (StageArt). As well as performing, she has taught dance internationally in the USA and has continued to teach dance, drama and musical theatre in schools around Melbourne. Currently, Kirra is also studying a Dance & Drama Teaching Degree at Deakin University. In 2015, Kirra received a Lyrebird Youth Nomination for Best Choreography for Mount Scopus Memorial College’s production of ‘Seussical’ and has also choreographed a number of other musicals; ‘Guys and Dolls’ (Mount Scopus Memorial College) ‘Mary Poppins’ (Mount Scopus Memorial College) ‘Legally Blonde’ (Mentone Grammar) ‘The Little Mermaid’ (Windmill Theatre Company, 2016 Guild Nomination Best Choreography) ‘Chicago’ (Windmill Theatre Company)