Going South

“I’ll stay in Memphis,” Elvis Presley famously declared. The Southern city, a hotbed for blues, gospel, and soul, has been revered by everyone from Johnny Cash and Aretha Franklin to Otis Redding and Justin Timberlake.

The Tennessee town’s contribution to modern music is the topic of Phoenix Theatre’s newest production, which opens this week. The show kicks off the main stage fall season -- the theater’s 94th -- with rebellion, rock 'n' roll, and rafter-reaching song. The 2010 Tony Award Winner for best book, original score, and best musical, Memphis is the story of a radio disc jockey (the young, white Huey Calhoun, finding his place in the club scene), and club singer Felicia Farrell, a stunning black singer with a voice to match, out to change the world and racial perceptions while getting their big breaks.

Curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 18, at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Tickets range from $30 to $75. Memphis runs Tuesdays through Sundays through Sunday, October 12. Showtimes vary. Call 602-254-2151 or visit for details.

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Sept. 17. Continues through Oct. 12, 2014
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard