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Great Performances: Memphis

Airs Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best New Musical, “Memphis” turns the radio dial back to the 1950s to tell the story of a white DJ, named Huey Calhoun (Chad Kimball, kneeling), whose love of music transcends race lines and airwaves. His romantic interest is Felicia Farrell (Montego Glover, standing), a young black singer whose career is on the rise.

Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best New Musical, “Memphis” turns the radio dial back to the 1950s to tell the story of a white DJ, named Huey Calhoun (Chad Kimball), whose love of music transcends race lines and airwaves. His romantic interest is Felicia Farrell (Montego Glover), a young black singer whose career is on the rise but who can’t make the break out of segregated clubs on her own.

Performance photo of the cast of "Memphis."
Enlarge this image

Above: Performance photo of the cast of "Memphis."

Montego Glover plays Felicia Farrell, a young black singer whose career is on the rise, in “Memphis,” winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best New Musical.
Enlarge this image

Above: Montego Glover plays Felicia Farrell, a young black singer whose career is on the rise, in “Memphis,” winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best New Musical.

When the two collaborate, her soulful music reaches radio audiences everywhere, and the golden era of early rock ‘n’ roll takes flight. But as things heat up, whether the world is really ready for their music — or their love — is put to a test.

With an original story by Joe DiPietro ("I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change") and a new score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan, the production is directed by Christopher Ashley ("Xanadu") and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo ("Jersey Boys").

Filled with high-octane dancing, songs that perfectly capture the era, and an absorbing tale of fame and forbidden love, the show offers soaring emotion and roof-raising rock 'n' roll.

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Video

Preview: Great Performances: Memphis

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Watch Memphis on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Video

Memphis: Montego Glover sings “Underground”

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Above: An aspiring singer in segregated Memphis, Felicia (Montego Glover) takes the stage at her brother’s underground bar, Delray’s. Joined by her brother Delray (J. Bernard Calloway) she brings down the house with the rockin’ blues opener “Underground.”

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