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re: Tony winners with mixed word of mouth (with spoilers!)
Last Edit: WaymanWong 09:11 pm EDT 08/10/22
Posted by: WaymanWong 08:57 pm EDT 08/10/22
In reply to: Tony winners with mixed word of mouth - ShowGoer 05:40 pm EDT 08/10/22

''... even 'Memphis,' which didn't have a lot of love in the industry, was a crowd-pleaser of sorts.''

It often appears as if ''Memphis'' isn't given enough credit for overcoming the odds and all its obstacles.

It opened in Oct. 2019, with no big-name stars. It wasn't based on a pre-sold, hit movie or best-seller. It was an original musical with a first-time Broadway score by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan. And it was an interracial love story in which its leads did NOT end up happily as a couple.

After the N.Y. Times gave it a dismissive review, there were those who expected ''Memphis'' to close early. And certainly, they predicted, there was no way it would last until the Tonys. But it seems forgotten that ''Memphis'' also got its share of rave reviews, from Michael Kuchwara at Associated Press (''the very essence of what a Broadway musical should be'') to John Simon (!) at Bloomberg News (''I guarantee you a rambunctious good time, highlighted by rousing music and singing, spectacular dancing and a witty, moving story''). But most importantly, audiences turned ''Memphis'' into a genuine crowd-pleaser with wonderful word of mouth, thanks to its incredible cast, toe-tapping tunes and fun, feel-good finale.

By May-June 2010, ''Memphis'' won Best Musical from the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama Desk Awards and the Tony Awards, beating out about 10 other new shows that season, including ''Fela!'' and ''American Idiot.'' In 2011, it then made history as the first Broadway musical that was filmed while it was still running in NYC, and shown nationally in movie theaters. In 2012, ''Memphis'' wrapped up its Broadway run, racking up nearly 1,200 performances. And in 2013, its airing on PBS' ''Great Performances'' earned it an Emmy. As ''Memphis' '' Huey Calhoun would holler: ''Hockadoo!''
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