IBJ Night at the Movies/Theater: 'Memphis'

April 15, 2011
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Last year's Tony-winning Best Musical, "Memphis," isn't on the Broadway in Indianapolis lineup next season. Nor is the musical, telling the story of DJ Huey Calhoun and his romance with up-and-coming singer Felicia Farrell in the segregated 1950s, licensed to be produced by regional theaters.

But that doesn't mean you can't see it.

On April 28 and 30 and May 1-3, "Memphis" will be shown in movie theaters as recorded live with the original cast. For more information on the screenings and a complete list of theaters, click here.

One theater showing "Memphis"  is Castleton Square 14. And on April 28, you and a guest can join me for the show. I've got two pairs of tickets to give away.

As a bonus, the folks at Applause Books, publisher of the soon-to-be-released complete libretto of "Memphis," have offered a selection of its recent titles to include in the prize package.

That means you could also win "Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit & The Biggest Flop of the Season" by Peter Filichia, "At This Theater" by Robert Viagas and Louis Botto, Laura Frankos' "The Broadway Musical Quiz Book" and more. (To peruse the complete Applause Books catalog, click here.)

To win, just enter below and tell me your best Broadway musical experience (whether actually on Broadway or elsewhere).

I'll pick two winners at random.

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  • The Wiz
    I was probably around 6 years old and for Easter, the Easter bunny gave me the LP and I wore that record out. Then my mom got us tickets to the see the tour when it came thru Chicago. To say I was enthralled was an understatement - I just had never imagined the yellow brick road would be four guys with giant yellow afros dancing and singing. I was in love - with the show, with Dorothy, and forever after with musical theatre.
  • Cliche but great nonetheless
    Best experience was sitting at Ruby Foos in Times Square, surprising my then 13 y/o daughter with 8 p.m. tickets to Wicked. Tears of joy!!
  • Ave Q
    I don't know what was more memorable going to see the Ave Q on Broadway, or waiting for several hours in the TKTS line (Which we made up a jingle for) to get discounted tickets. But it was my first and only show on Broadway and fantastic.
  • Met Cast after show
    When Les Miserables first came to town, We got the last two tickets, in the last row of the balcony, and in the corner, as well. It was a good thing we brought binoculars!

    Later, after a wonderful performance, we were some of the last people to leave. as we walked to our car,the cast came out the side entrance, and we had a wonderful chat!
  • Kiss of the Spiderwoman
    I was 18. I was with a group in New York, and saw Kiss of the Spiderwoman with Chita Rivera. The whole show was jaw-droppingly good.
  • Broadway Year
    In second grade my daughter enrolled in a school program called "Broadway Kids" and got hooked on performing. From then, through high school, if she wasn't in a play, she was attending one, and as I quickly learned, Indy has a lot of Broadway productions going at any one time. Chicago does as well, but eventually we had to see the 'real thing' as she put it. So now New York is just another part of her travel circuit, and our CD case has more Broadway than rock.
  • First Taste of Theatre
    When I was in 8th grade I took a school trip to NYC (my first visit) and we saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Even though I was exhausted from our day in the city, I couldn't take my eyes off what seemed like a movie playing live in front of me.
  • Cabaret at Studio 54
    In 2000, as a high school senior at North Central, our excellent theatre director, Joe King, too the upper level theatre students on a trip to NYC. We say Amadeus, The Lion King, Waiting in the Wings, and (my favorite) Cabaret. It was at the amazing Studio 54 and Allan Cumming played the Emcee. It was a show that will always be fresh in my memory- I remember his rendition of "I Don't Care Much" and how, in the final scene, he ripped off his outer clothes to reveal a striped suit of the type worn by the internees in concentration camps with a yellow Star-of-David and a pink triangle pinned on.
  • Pacific Overtures
    I was lucky enough to be in NYC when the National Theatre of Tokyo came to Lincoln Center with this rarely produced Stephen Sondheim gem. Once in a lifetime experience!
  • Mame
    My favorite Broadway memory was seeing "Mame" about a month after it opened. I'll always remember how wonderful Angela Lansbury, Bea Arthur and the entire cast were.
  • The Lion King
    I've not been fortunate enough to make it to NYC, but the best 'Broadway' experience I've had has been right here in Indianapolis, when I saw 'The Lion King' for the first time. I had a seat very near the stage, and right on the aisle. When the animals started toward the stage, everyone turned to look, and as I turned, an elephant grazed my arm...birds swooped...cats prowled the stage...I was never so 'in' a setting in my life.
  • Wicked
    Any one of the three times we have seen Wicked. What a fabulous stage production.
  • Broadway
    At Ball State in the early 70's I joined my friends from the Theater Dept. in a week-long trip to NYC. We saw 'A Little Night Music", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Two Gentleman of Verona", and five other shows. Unbelievable that the tickets, hotel and bus rise cost me $315.
  • Another Ball State Trip
    In the mid 70's I went on the same week long New York trip that the Ball State Theatre Dept sponsored. I was lucky enough to see Madeline Kahn (and an unknown Kevin Kline) in "On The Twentieth Century" and "A Chorus Line". Best week of my life.
  • Wicked
    Wicked in Chicago Summer of 2008.
  • A Bronx Tale
    Seeing the one man show on Broadway was amazing!
  • That's my mommy!
    I've had over 30 years of Broadway and off-Broadway memories. My mom took me to see the Nutcracker when I was only 3 and I was hooked. Since then we have seen Yul Brenner in the King and I, Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, Anne Miller and Mickey Rooney in Sugar Babies, and so many more over the years. From local theater productions all over the West Coast and now Indianapolis, to shows on Broadway, we've probably seen well over 100 different shows.

    The greatest thing about all the shows we see is the trip home. No matter what we see, mom and I travel home together and spend the trip (be it across town or across country) talking about the show we just saw and that leads to talking about other shows and memories of all the years we've gone to the theater together. As I told her the other day, my greatest joy is that she not only introduced me to the arts, but she continues to go with me year after year.

    As we make that trip home, we almost certainly always reminisce about the night in Seattle at the 5th Avenue Theater when a little 2 year old shouted at the top of her lungs from the front row, "that's MY mommy!" It was during a local production of Hair starring Louis Hobson as Claude (before he went to NYC and landed Next to Normal) and Tom Plotkin as Berger. Plotkin had ascended the arms of the audience seat and was gyrating wildly. When he introduced the audience member as his mother, the little girl in the next seat took offense that he would claim her mother as his own. Plotkin hadn't noticed the child before and completely lost it. "This is a family show. Who knew?" he said as he tried to regain his composure and his character. The rest of the cast were literally rolling on the floor laughing. Hobson's face turned red and he held his gut while rolling on his back and slapping the stage with laughter. It took several minutes before the cast and audience stopped laughing enough to continue the show.

    We have been blessed seeing some great performances, classic flops, and some pretty hysterical flubs over the years. But the best is always knowing that when I look at the next seat, I too can say, "that's my mommy!"
  • seeing all the Tony winners!
    I spent most of a trip to NYC in early 2005 seeing a ton of Broadway plays and musicals. I was simply delighted to find out that summer, watching the Tony Awards, that I had seen at least one nominee (and in most cases, the winner) in each major category that year! I always love watching Broadway shows, and I always enjoy the Tony Awards, but never more than I did that year!
  • Annie in 1977
    It was Annie in 1977 with Dorothy Loudon and the rest of the original cast. I sat in one of the last rows of the balcony and was still blown away. I gave Dorothy Loudon a standing ovation and almost fell over due to the steep pitch of the seats. At that moment I knew that I would always be a Broadway fan and couldn't wait to see my next show (A Chorus Line - sadly, not the original cast). I have since seen over 100 shows and still get excited when I walk into a Broadway theater. I have such a love for the theater that even though I am only in my late 40s, I have asked my good friend that when I pass to spread some of my ashes in front of the Neil Simon Theater (formerly the Alvin) where I saw Annie. Hopefully the theater will be standing - I don't plan on going for at least 40 more years - around the same time Angela Landsbury will be opening in a revival of Mame (LOL).
  • Aida
    Seeing Aida on Broadway with my Mom and sisters.
  • Winner?
    Who won?

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