“Everyone in this building owns this TONY. That means all of us got this TONY. We took it home, but it belongs to all of us.”- Randy Adams
2010 TONY Award, including Best Musical. Don’t get me wrong, I love that we won the TONY. For sure. I think I am most proud of being nominated. I can remember how much we just wanted to be in the game. But this video of the performance after the TONY awards has so much love in it, plus the quote from Randy Adams above. At our two year, I think it’s really important to give a shout out to EVERYONE in the Memphis Shubert family, from the usher in the very top balcony, to the bartender in the very lowest lobby, from the box office staffer out front, to the doorman who is the last out of the door every night.
Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.: Say A Prayer. It was not lost on many of us that the Memphis National Tour opened on the same day as the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C. Just as we could not have predicted when the journey of this show began that Barack Obama would be elected President of the United States, change may not come easy, but it does come.
Chad Kimball’s sings “Memphis Lives in Me”, Shubert Alley BBQ
This was the day it all began- first public performance in NYC. Cast used their lunch break from rehearsal to sing for a huge crowd in shirts I had to make on Zazzle.com (I also had to stalk the UPS driver throughout the city to find them). It was the day we assembled “Team Tastic”; a group of friends and friends of friends to hand out Memphis fans during the BBQ, proving that Broadway is a lot more grassroots than glamorous. Chad sings his face off in this clip, our second most highly viewed video to date!
James M. Iglehart and the Boys of Memphis Kidnap La Chanze
As part of my growing collaboration with both JMI and Apples and Oranges Productions, the Kidnap video series we did early on in our run- one part for fun, one part to get the word out about Memphis – went to a new level with this La Chanze video. What made it so epic? One, we had La Chanze. Two, we had LA CHANZE. Three, the amount of funny that happens in this video? Out of control. I know James is proud of it too ’cause he told me.
David McDonald’s Proposal Video. The second onstage proposal at Memphis, what more can I say except I love LOVE and I love Memphis and this video combines them both.
Alumni video. We have had so many wonderful cast members as part of this show- whether they are with us for a long time or a short time, they have each brought something amazing to the stage. Also special to me is that one of my decade-long-friends, Molly Anne Coogan, gave us permission to use her band Rooftops song, “The Note Song.” I made several of these tribute videos over the two years, and loved that we had our own way to say goodbye in song- very American-Idol of us. Memphis, “you do my heart good.”
It Get’s Better Video: Probably the hardest video to shoot and edit, done on my primitive little flip, with one day to shoot and so much to say. Working with Tyrone Jackson and John Eric Parker was amazing and the product, though a bit rough in places (I had never used music to underscore a video and clearly there are sound balance issues), it represents that part in our show where Huey says to Felicia “where two grown people can marry who they like.” When we made this video, gay marriage was illegal in New York. Today, well, “I think things are changing maybe a little.”
Dan’yelle Williamson sings “I Have Nothing” at the Joe’s Pub Broadway Impact concert. There were so many terrific singers from MEMPHIS involved in this August 2010 concert, though the fact that Dan’yelle sang a Whitney Houston song at her callback audition for MEMPHIS (and really, who does that?) reminds me of way back in the day when we were putting together the Broadway company. It was such a special time, that moment where dreams become reality. And, honestly, as a child of the 80′s, Whitney. What’s better for a happy birthday Memphis gift than Dan’yelle singing Whitney?