The musical “Memphis” is a story depicting a disc-jockey (DJ ) who preferred music that was associated with the African-Americans, and thus his vision was unpopular among other DJs or radio producers. The central theme of this plot and the idea for this story is based on the real-life story of a Memphis DJ. Hence, the events depict the racial discrimination that was reflected in the music preferences of the people and DJs in the 1950s, highlighting important issues that exist in society. This paper aims to discuss the musical “Memphis” and its production elements.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The original message of “Memphis” intended to convey the issues of race that affected even the music that was played on the radio and a white man named Hue, who likes blues and soul and was not afraid to show this. The atmosphere of the musical, the songs that were chosen by the creators, and the technical details embrace the original message since they help create a cohesive vision of the issues that Hue and Felicia face. The main character is the DJ who plays soul and blues music to a predominantly white audience, and the musical describes his life journey and a talented singer Felicia. The performance of the cast is remarkable, and their acting and singing grasp the language and emotions of their characters correctly.
The interaction of actors in Memphis reflects the relationships that the author wanted to convey, which is supported by the director’s use of stage blocking. The last detail helps the viewers appropriately connect to the actors. Next, costume design is an essential element that helps portray the atmosphere of the 1950s, and in the case of “Memphis,” it helped unify the technical aspects of production. The scenic design was impressive because it contained minimum details, although this was enough to portray the stories of Hue and Felicia and understand the context of the story. This includes the aesthetically pleasing props and stage light, which supported the overall sound quality of this production. The characters were dressed in regular clothes, typical for the era their characters lived in, such as suits and dresses.
Music is one of the critical elements that define the musical, and the story behind Memphis makes it obligatory to use blues and soul to depict the events correctly. In essence, the racial segregation that existed in the 1950s, although it was not as severe as before, was present, and the example of music that the author of the story uses is a great illustration. Hence, the songs help the audience understand the context of events better. The actors were great at singing the songs, with well-rehearsed performances and excellent onstage interactions.
The production had an overall feel of cohesiveness since the plot, the music, the costumes, decorations, and the whole production corresponded with the intended message of this work. Hence, one can argue that “Memphis” is a synergy of all theatrics and musical elements necessary to portray a good story. Moreover, this musical production creates an overall cohesive and aesthetic feel because the costumes and decorations support the atmosphere of the 1950s. Overall, it appears that the production team understood the original message intended for the story, and the actors and technical details incorporated in the production of “Memphis” help viewers get a cohesive understanding of the depicted era and its social issues.
Memphis the Musical. Directed by Don Roy King. Broadway Worldwide, 2011.