Hundreds braved the cold to travel to the Bologna Performing Arts Center in Cleveland to get a little taste of Memphis in the Mississippi Delta on Sunday. Four-time Tony award-winning MEMPHIS the Musical was at the Bologna Center for one night only, and the audience was not disappointed.
Prior to the show, Ubon’s BBQ of Yazoo City pulled their cooking rig up in front of the Bologna Center to prepare a Memphis-style barbeque dinner for theater patrons to enjoy before the show began.
“I have always wanted to see Memphis the Musical, and I was thrilled to see it on the season line-up when it was announced” said Kelli Cotton, director of Cleveland Tourism. “It is amazing that a Broadway production such as that came so close to home, and we are so fortunate in the Delta to have access to such great entertainment. The show certainly did not disappoint!”
Stars Joey Elrose (playing radio DJ Huey Calhoun) and Jasmin Richardson (playing breakout singer Felicia Farrell) stunned the crowd with their vocal ability. The entire cast wowed the audience with their high energy and singing and dancing talents. “Incredible,” “amazing,” and, to use the show’s dialogue, “fantastical” declared audience members as they excited the theater at the end of the night.
Beyond Cleveland, the Bologna Center drew its audience members from nearby Delta towns such as Clarksdale and Greenville, but also cities further afield like Vicksburg and Winona, and even out-of-state patrons including Arkansas, Georgia, and Louisiana.
The performance of MEMPHIS was sponsored by Bolivar Medical Center.
“We were pleased to help in bringing this fantastic production to our community,” said Hannah Dreher, administrative director for BMC.
Broadway musicals like MEMPHIS are large productions that require great community support to bring to the Bologna Center. It took three tractor trailers and 2 tour buses to bring all of the sets, costumes, lights and sounds of MEMPHIS to the Bologna Center.
“We are grateful to Bolivar Medical Center and all of our Annual Members for helping us bring the best of Broadway to the Delta,” said Laura Howell, executive director of the Bologna Center.
The next performance at the Bologna Center will be “A Mississippi Delta Holiday” on Dec. 8 at 2:00 p.m., featuring performing groups from across the Delta. For tickets, call (662) 846-4626 or visit www.bolognapac.com