Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A new song!

Kenny Seymour goes through some new sheet music from the score, as creators (left side of photo) David Bryan (music and lyrics) and Joe DiPietro (book and lyrics) discuss.

Blog writer Allen Fitzpatrick (Mr. Simmons):

We ran through the entire show on Monday! Amazingly (talk about great timing), we got right up to the Curtain Call at exactly 5:59PM. It was a great day, and very gratifying for everybody.

Yesterday, we came in to work on "stage combat" -- the several slaps, punches and fights that take place in the show. And now some of us are working on another new song. This one will replace what was previously a spoken section of the show: when white Memphis teenagers call in to WRNB and demand that Huey Calhoun continue to play his "race music." (And I just got a solo singing line!)

Star Chad Kimball ("Huey") with creators David Bryan and Joe DiPietro in the background.

Dancers prepare to rehearse with Edgar Godineaux, while the very talented Dionne Figgins ("Myrna") shows off her stuff.

39 and under? Join us January 30th!

Save the Date!

Friday January 30th - Join our event page on facebook today!

6pm - 7:30 Pre show reception at Sazerac Restaurant. Enjoy happy hour prices in our reserved area at Sazerac before the show while you meet other Avenue Club members. At 7:30, we'll close out our tabs and walk up to the theatre.

8pm Memphis: The Birth of Rock & Roll. From Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and David Bryan (keyboardist, composer and founding member of Bon Jovi) comes this new musical immortalizing the man who gave rock its original roll. Wait until you see the dance numbers and hear these songs. Be one of the first to see the show everyone's going to be talking about!

Special $30 tickets (reg $74) will go on sale on January 21st! This event is for age 39 and under. You may be carded at the door. Preshow event for ages 21 - 39.

Not already a member of The 5th Avenue Theatre fan page? Click here to join us on facebook.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seattle Rehearsals for Memphis have begun!

Blog writer: Allen Fitzpatrick (Mr. Simmons):

It's Monday and though we normally have a day off, we are rehearsing today and taking Thursday off. The cast is a little bit tired, having rehearsed seven days in a row now -- but we'll be more tired on Wednesday, which will be day 9. No one's complaining, though -- we all feel fortunate to have this wonderful job when a lot of Broadway shows are closing.

Rehearsals are going just great, and we seem to remember everything that we did in La Jolla, which was a full three months ago. There are some changes from the show that we presented in La Jolla last summer. Everyone thinks the changes are great, including a good number of dialogue changes, and an entire new song for Cass Morgan, who plays Huey Calhoun's mama. It's much better, so think we all, especially Cass.

The Seattle actors that have joined us for this production are all enjoying the process, and are terrific. The entire cast is just amazing -- one of the most uniformly talented groups of people with whom I've worked in 35 years of being in the professional theatre. Chris Ashley (our director) and the creative staff are all bursting with energy and positive feelings about the process. There's such a good feeling in the rehearsal room.

All the actors from out-of-town tell me they are thrilled to be in Seattle. Despite the rain of late, they all just love the Emerald City, and are certainly appreciating its charms. They also love where they're living here; the staff running their hotel is bending over backward to make them feel welcome and appreciated.

Everyone is in good physical shape, and there've been no injuries, though we did without ensemble member Brad Bass for the first few days (he was out with the flu).

We're very excited because this afternoon we are starting a work-through of the entire show, which is always exciting, to put the whole thing together! We’re looking very much to getting on STAGE, by the weekend.

Memphis: The Birth of Rock and Roll

We're talkin' downtown, down-home Memphis of the 1950s! A downright demented deejay named Huey is spinning the music of black and white America together for the first time. From Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and Over the River and Through the Woods) and David Bryan (keyboardist, composer and founding member of Bon Jovi) comes a rafter-rattling musical that immortalizes the man who gave rock its original roll.

In our upcoming segments of the Backstage at The 5th blog we'll be taking you backstage the rehearsals and performances of this electrifying musical all about rock, race and romance!

Monday, January 5, 2009

EMP Event this Thursday - with David Bryan of Bon Jovi!

EMP Oral History Live! An Evening with David Bryan
Thursday, January 8, 2009 7:00pm

The Oral History Live! series at EMPSFM features intimate interviews before a live audience.JBL Theater325 5th Avenue NorthSeattle, WA 98109

In January, EMPSFM is partnering with The 5th Avenue Theatre to present an interview with David Bryan. As the keyboard player, songwriter and founding member of Bon Jovi, now in its twentieth year, Mr. Bryan’s journey has included selling 130 million albums, traveling the world playing to millions of people in more than 50 countries and circling the globe for 25 years. In his time off from recording and touring, Mr. Bryan began a career as a composer and lyricist of musicals. The 5th Avenue Theatre is opening his newest musical, Memphis, playing January 27 - February 15, 2009. Memphis, written by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro (the author of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Over the River and Through the Woods), is a rafter-rattling musical that immortalizes the DJs who gave rock its original roll. For more information, visit

Reserve your tickets in advance: Free to EMPSFM members and 5th Avenue Theatre subscribers; $5 general public, 206.770.2702 or 1.877.EMP.SFM1. Reserved seats unclaimed 10 minutes prior to the event are subject to be released to the wait list.

Visit the EMP site for more info.