January 2, 2011: We sang “Happy Trails” to original Broadway cast member, John Eric Parker, (Wailin’ Joe/Reverend Hobson/understudy Delray) who started his run with BOOK OF MORMON. John Eric likes to be part of each year’s TONY-winning Best Musical…
January 21, 2011: We sang “Happy Trails” to original cast member, Jennifer Allen, (Clara/understudy “Mama) for SISTER ACT where she has been part of what I call the “wall of sound” from those belting nuns. (Jennifer is second row, second from right).
January 21, 2011: It was time to sing “Happy Trails” to Tanya Birl, (Ethel), for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING.
January 23, 2011: He came, he saw, he blogged, he “Buck Wiley-d”, we sang “Happy Trails” to original Broadway cast member, Kevin Covert for HOW TO SUCCEED, where he continues to dance his face off. We wish him well though the week is not the same without the Covert Report.
January 23, 2011: We sang “Happy Trails” to Todrick Hall, who has been rocking the viral videos every since.
February 3rd, 2011: Audemar’s Piquet and Broadway Cares Inspire Change Flash Mob: 1100 kids surprise the Broadway cast.
February 6, 2011: We sang “Happy Trails” to Tracee Beazer (now Tracee Beazer Barrett- congrats on the nuptuials!) who has since been rocking the stage with the Broadway Dolls.
March 13, 2011: A double whammy of a day where we sang “Happy Trails” to original Broadway cast members, Michael McGrath (Mr. Simmons) and Cass Morgan (Mama).
April 17, 2011: Broadway Cast Member, David McDonald, proposes during the curtain call to his girlfriend
April 24, 2011: “Happy Trails” to Daniel J. Watts, who took a magical carpet ride with James M. Iglehart and the cast of ALADDIN, then performed in the critically acclaimed COTTON CLUB PARADE. (Daniel on far right)
April 28, 29 and May 1 and 3: MEMPHIS the MUSICAL is in Movie theatres! Broadway Worldwide releases MEMPHIS in cinemas and is now available for purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray, to instant stream on Netflix and will be part of PBS’ Great Performances on February 24, 2012. Hockadoo Indeed.
This blogger is particularly thrilled that the show is captured for posterity, especially this riff of Derrick Baskin, which is not on the Original Cast Recording.
May 21, 2011: “Happy Trails” to Ephraim Sykes who is knocking them dead in the revival of RENT off-Broadway as “Benny.” Catch him in it soon as he leaves for his next show the second week of January! (Ephraim on far right)
May 22, 2011: We sang “Happy Trails” to Felicia Boswell, who would come back to headline to National Tour as our leading lady “Felicia Farrell.”
May 22, 2011: We also sang “Happy Trails” to original Broadway cast member/Dance Captain, Dionne Figgins, who worked that blonde wig like no one else.
May 31, 2011: We sang “Happy Trails” to stage manager Christine Fisichella.
June 12, 2011: Memphis the Musical makes a repeat performance at the 2011 TONY AWARDS at the Beacon Theatre performing “Steal Your Rock n’ Roll” with a group of students helping us out in the aisles. *Host, Neil Patrick Harris, and Lin Manuel Miranda, create a hilarious “credits” song that includes this lyric about MEMPHIS:
Spider-Man and Mary Jane gave us perspective here.
They sang a ballad, we didn’t need protective gear.
Patina Miller’s nun sang “Raise Your Voice” with cheer
and Memphis is relentless, they’re performing every year.
June 24, 2011: We almost made it a whole month without singing “Happy Trails” until we had to sing it to Kyle Leland, who fortunately was about to rejoin us on our National Tour as a Swing/Dance Captain.
July 8th, 2011: Memphis the Musical cast members, past and present, participate in a Central Park Flash Mob. Directed and Produced by Broadway Cast Member, Hillary Elk, and Michael Jovic.
July 17, 2011: “Happy Trails” to original Broadway cast member, Rhett George, but only for a hot second, as he joined the National Tour as our “Gator.”
July 18, 2011: Broadway.com releases an “Ask A Star” segment, featuring our original leads, Chad Kimball and Montego Glover. (The totally used my question in the segment! I’m that Carolyn).
Ask A Star
July 31, 2011: Again, goodbye for a moment, replacement for James Iglehart, Will Mann, enjoys a “Happy Trails” sing-song before joining the National Tour as “Bobby.”
September 7, 2011: Rehearsals start for the first National Tour of MEMPHIS. Known as the “Huey Company.”
September 11, 2011: Just shy of 200 performances as “Huey”, we sang “Happy Trails” to original Broadway cast member and “Huey” understudy, Bryan Fenkart, who joined the National Tour to play our zebra-striped protagonist.
September 25, 2011: Back for just a moment, it was another “Happy Trails” for Kyle Leland and Gregory Haney, who stepped back into the show to help us get through some injuries.
October 3, 2011: The MEMPHIS National Tour company leaves NYC for technical rehearsals in Memphis, TN, at the Orpheum Theatre which is literally on Main Street and Beale Street. Photo credit Betsy Struxness.
October 14, 2011: National Tour lauches in Memphis, TN.—”Memphis Lives in Me” stops the show. Check out this highlight reel.
October 19, 2011: Memphis Celebrates Two Years on Broadway and begins it’s 3rd Smash Year. “HockaTWO” party complete with airbrushed tattoos is a incredible way to usher in the 3rd Year…”Memphis Lives in THREE” is already being thrown around.
October, 23, 2011: Chad Kimball’s Final Performance. The outpouring of love for our original “Huey” was particularly inspiring and made for a very festive stage door!
October 23, 2011: Also said goodbye to original Broadway cast member, Cary Tedder, who originally left the show in 2010 for the WEST SIDE STORY National Tour, but who had come back into the show to get us through another injury or two.
November 20, 2011: Another “Happy Trails” to stage manager, Christine Viega.
November 24, 2011: Memphis Company performs on the CBS Thanksgiving Parade in a fun version of Radio shot on and NYC playground.
December 4, 2011: Setting a record for most “Happy Trails” of 2011, we sang to Cary Tedder again who was back in the show as a temporary replacement.
December 11, 2011: A double “Happy Trails”; one for original Broadway cast member, Sydney Morton (Swing) for EVITA and to Antoine Smith, who went to join the out of town TOXIC AVENGER musical with Nancy Opel, our Cass Morgan “Mama” replacement, which meant a welcome back to Cass Morgan!
December 13, 2011: MEMPHIS Broadway announces that the performance schedule will now feature Tuesday-Thursday night 7pm performances. Memphis plays Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7 PM; Fridays-Saturdays at 8 PM; Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM; and Sundays at 3 PM.
December 15, 2011: One of the funniest videos on the planet, March of the Blondes, is recorded and released by the National Tour company.
December 19, 2011: The holiday season is made even more merry and bright by the release of this youtube hit, Broadway cast members, Justin Patterson, Kevin Massey and Jamison Scott’s version of I’ll be Home for Christmas.
December 30, 2011: From the Stage Manager’s report:” Performance #917, Great show and audience. We are happy to close out 2011 with an SRO house full of enthusiastic cheering patrons. A big thank you goes out to everyone who helped make 2011 a great year for MEMPHIS.”
December 31, 2011: What are YOU Doing New Year’s eve?
Be Happy and Be Safe from Memphis on Broadway and the National Tour Huey Company!