Hey, Broadway fans! We have news from Deadline that a movie version of the stage musical “Memphis” is being planned.
Don’t remember “Memphis?” Loosely based on a true story, it was about a white DJ in the south in the 1950s to play music by black artists. Joe DiPietro wrote the lyrics and the book and David Bryan wrote the music. The show was workshopped for a long time, appearing in various forms throughout the country from 2003-2009, when it finally made it to Broadway. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2010 and ran on Broadway until 2012, for a total of 1,166 performances. It’s currently touring through 2013.
“Memphis” was always one of those shows that you were surprised to hear was still running. I never met anyone who saw it, or even talked about it, yet as noted above, it had a good, solid Broadway run. That’s a lot of credit to those producers and the marketing team–they must have worked every angle brilliantly.
DiPietro will write the screenplay. We’ll see if it happens. The failure of “Rock of Ages” cannot make Hollywood feel really enthusiastic about musicals; if “Les Miserables” does well, that might be regarded as an outlier, because of its long history and well-known brand name.