Saturday, September 13, 2014

                  Left to right: Jim Hogan and Aisha Jackson

   Director Rod Lansberry has cast the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities’ production of “Memphis” with performers who display true star quality and paced it with a rhythm and blues heartbeat. Joe Pietro’s book for the musical makes us feel what it was like to be living in the racially segregated South when the Civil Rights movement was just getting started. David Bryan’s music and lyrics let us hear the rocking rise of black rhythm and blues upstaging the previously exclusive bland white bread tunes on the radio.

     Aisha Jackson’s performance in the role of Felicia is that of a musical theatre star of the first magnitude. Ms. Jackson's soprano soars!

     Jim Hogan’s heroic rebellious Huey is a tour de force.  One hopes to see LOTS more of this fine artist’s work.

     Keith L. Hatten’s Delray is not just brilliantly acted. Hatten is a great singer as well! Who knew?
     Mathenee Trico (Bobby) executes some breathtaking moves that prove you don’t have to be a skinny guy in tights to execute stunning high-kicking athletic dance moves onstage. Trico is a force of nature! And what a voice! This man deserves to be seen onstage much more often.

     How exciting to get to see and hear Melissa Swift-Sawyer (the critically acclaimed “Always Patsy Cline” at The Galleria) onstage again. Here she plays the white cracker momma you love to hate.

      Robert Michael Sanders does a great job as the consummate bigot. The scene in which he is unexpectedly introduced on a television program featuring African American dancers is golden. Mr. Sanders’ portrayal of this good ol’ boy as deer in the headlights is priceless.

      Kitty Skillman-Hilsabeck’s choreography is as always fresh and vitally inventive even when making studied references to such work as that of Jerome Robbins in West Side Story’s “Dance at the Gym” in order to illustrate racial integration.

      David Nehls’ music direction is magnificent.

      Chris Campbell’s costumes are spot on.

      Matt La Fontaine, Noah Lee Jordan, Shannan Steele and Mark Rubald are a few of the local favorites featured.

Box Office Phone: 720-898-7200
 or go online at for tickets Marlowe's Musings 

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