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The Rock 'n' Roll Lives In Me: A Review of "Memphis" at the Walton Arts Center

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The Rock 'n' Roll Lives In Me: A Review of "Memphis" at the Walton Arts Center

jasmine banks

memphis.jpg

Have you purchased tickets from the Walton to see Memphis? No? Leave this site RIGHT NOW and go purchase a ticket (or THREE tickets!) to the show! Last night I walked into the Walton exhausted. My day started at 8 a.m. and I was running around occupied with things to do all day. My friend Brandi was with me and she was kind of pooped too. We are two hardworking ladies. We grabbed our tickets, chit chatted a bit before the show, and settled into our seats as the performance started. I am lacking the adequate vocabulary to express what seeing Memphis means to me. I didn't do too much research before the show because I wanted to really see if the story would teach me what I needed to know. The writing of this show is brilliant! I was able to clearly understand the plot and follow the characters. As I relaxed into my chair I found myself clutching my chest at the amazing visually dynamic scenes, emotional evocative connections, and moving musical talent. Memphis has more than just a talented cast. It has a message that pierces right into the heart of what our country has faced and is still facing. Racial reconciliation and learning to move beyond our own bigotry are still conversations that are in process.

I cried as  Gator sang "Say a Prayer".

I smiled as Huey fell in love with Felicia and her song.

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I was in awe of how well the cast depicted the struggles of 1951 and the transformational power of music. Memphis the musical has the dancing and the power house vocals. It has the comedic timing and the drama. It has a great message that challenges the audience to think. This  musical means so much.. This musical means so much, not JUST  because I am a child of a white mother and black father, but because I am human.  Memphis' message is about being the person who stands up for the truth in your soul. For Huey it was "race music" and seeing people as people. Memphis the musical ejected me from my long day and reminded me that I have the power to make a difference. I cheered for the cast as they faced their antagonists and I walked out of the Walton Arts Center revived and reminded:

The rock 'n' roll lives in me and in you... if we'll be brave enough to embrace.

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Now go see the show. NOW!