By Camryn Ginsberg
Meridian Times staff writer
OKEMOS — Bryan Fenkhart and Julie Johnson, of Memphis the musical posted in the food court of Meridian Mall to autograph posters and take pictures noon to 1:30 p.m on Wednesday, March 28.Memphis is the story of a Caucasian radio personality, Huey, whose dream is to spread his love for R&B music. He falls in love with a black woman named Felicia, sparking negative feedback. Huey’s mother, Gladys doesn’t approve of the interracial relationship.
“I’m a big theater nerd. I loved, loved, loved Huey. I was so happy to meet him in person,” said 22-year-old Megan Brophy, who saw the show the night before.
Fans lined up to get a photo with the characters Huey, played by Fenkhart and Gladys, played by Johnson.
“I had to come meet them. The show was absolutely amazing. The music and characters were to die for,” said Elizabeth Petsche, an East Lansing resident.
Fenkhart explained his journey to Broadway.
“I lost a bet to a girl in my high school English class. I told her I’d do better on an exam. If she did better, I had to join theater. Well, I lost and here I am on my first tour,” said Fenkhart. “I love what I’m doing now because I get to mix my two passions in life: acting and singing.”
The cast travelled across the country before coming to East Lansing, its 19th city.
“I’ve done 198 performances on Broadway, then I was offered to do the MEMPHIS tour. It’s great to go places I’ve never been before. I liked Pittsburgh and South Carolina more than I expected,” said Fenkhart.
The cast left Sunday from East Lansing and is headed to Baltimore Tuesday.
“I want to see it over and over again. The story hooks you in because it’s so powerful and compelling,” said Brophy. “Luckily I bought tickets for two nights. I look forward to leaving the show as happy as I did the first time.”
Contact the Wharton Center at 1-800-WHARTON for upcoming events or visit the website at www.whartoncenter.com.
Wharton Center for Performing Arts
Michigan State University
East Lansing, 48824