The question of when rock and roll really began has been argued about for decades.
Bill Haley and the Comets get some of the credit, but most music historians believe the music that became rock and roll began on Beale Street in Memphis and spread out to the rest of the world.
The story of Beale Street is coming to Milwaukee with the Jan. 8-13 run of the award-winning "Memphis" at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.
The Milwaukee Rep has just finished a very successful run of "Blues in the Night," a searing story of the evolution and meaning of the blues.
"Memphis" carries the theme a bit further.
The story the writers tell is not unique. A white boy in a black club falls for a black singer and their trials, tribulations and triumphs follow, set against a backdrop of soul-stirring music.
The story, though, is not the critical element of "Memphis." It's the music and the dancing that has set feet tapping and hearts thumping since the play opened on Broadway in 2009. The play won the Tony in 2010 for Best Musical, and it's still a tough ticket in New York.
The show features a brand-new Tony-winning score with music by Bon Jovi's founding member and keyboardist David Bryan with lyrics by Bryan and Joe DiPietro ("I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change"), who also wrote the musical's book.
One of the best and most accurate reviews of "Memphis" came from the distinguished Elizabeth Cincentelli in the New York Post.
She wrote: "Memphis is a zippy, exuberant musical â€“ one that relies exclusively on steadfastly 'classic' values: catchy songs, heaping spoonfuls of inspirational moments and tear-jerking schmaltz, and committed performers at the top of their game."
Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $30 (subject to change) and can be purchased in person at the box office at 929 N. Water St., by phone at (414) 273-7206 or online.
This limited engagement is presented by the Marcus Center as part of the Broadway at the Marcus Center and Broadway Across America-Milwaukee series.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published May 27, 2016
There is something about live theater that provides room for the little things in life, things that don't come with trumpets but with little bells, things that don't move mountains but may move the soul.
Published May 26, 2016
Charlie Sykes has long been a star of conservative politics, having built a kind of cottage industry mixing radio, television, books and his own peculiar brand of journalism. He may now be part of "The Mainstream Media."
Published May 26, 2016
A kind of social media pandemonium got underway Wednesday when Viswa Subbaraman announced he was resigning as the artistic director at Skylight Music Theatre. The board will take its time, however, finding a replacement.
Published May 25, 2016
No matter how it gets spun, Milwaukee's performing arts community took a severe hit Wednesday when Viswa Subbaraman announced he was leaving his post as artistic director of the Skylight Music Theatre.
Published May 24, 2016
The Wisconsin theater season generally begins in early summer when The American Players Theatre opens in Spring Green, shortly after the previous Milwaukee season comes to an end in spring. The 2015-16 season is now over and it's time for Dave Begel's annual list of the best plays of the season.
Published May 21, 2016
Skylight's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" delivered a rollicking and laugh-filled first act. As for the second act? Unfortunately, that's where the Skylight's season finale ran out of gas.
Published May 20, 2016
There are rare moments in the life of an arts organization when something happens that is a stamp of its style and the core belief that makes it who it is. The Milwaukee Ballet unfurled a moment just like that Thursday night with "Alice (in wonderland)."
Published May 19, 2016
Demond Means, a skilled and accomplished educator, is a guy who deserves some sympathy for being caught between a rock and a hard place as he tries to move the rock. He faces tough opponents in reform efforts.
Published May 18, 2016
Somebody somewhere needs to sit me down in a corner and explain why the City of Milwaukee needs a new "People's flag" to replace the one we've had for over 60 years.
Published May 17, 2016
Septime Webre is about to step down after 17 years as artistic director of the prestigious Washington Ballet. Before then, however, he is in Milwaukee to direct his "Alice (in wonderland)" with the Milwaukee Ballet.