The most soulful new musical on Broadway ironically was created by a world-famous, curly-haired keyboardist who happens to be Jewish. Yep, David Bryan, who has played the keys for Bon Jovi since yours truly was in diapers, has co-written the new musical Memphis, a clear Tony frontrunner that’s blowing the roof of the Shubert Theatre. The show, set in the segregated south, centers on a white radio DJ named Huey Calhoun (Chad Kimball) who shakes up the town when he falls for a black singer named Felicia Farrell (Montego Glover) and starts playing soulful music mainstream whether people are ready for it or not.
I caught up with the two leads — Kimball and Glover — and asked them what it’s been like to be a part of the latest Broadway smash. (While her husband waited for every last health care vote to be counted, Michelle Obama took her kids to see the Broadway musical last night). While the two have appeared on Broadway before (Kimball’s credits include Into the Woods and Good Vibrations while Glover made her debut in The Color Purple), the pair say this is — by far — the biggest moment they’ve ever had on the stage.