In Memphis, Tenn., in the 1950s, even the music was segregated. Anything written or performed by black artists was called race music, and branded indecent, immoral or even un-Christian. When such music began to cross over into the mainstream, it made for dangerous and turbulent times. This supercharged, Tony-winning musical, with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan, provides a dynamic picture of that era. Huey (manic Bryan Fenkart) is a white boy who loves black music and, as a DJ, wants to promote it, despite his disapproving Mama (Julie Johnson) and his uptight white bosses. The white establishment regards him as a loose cannon and a dangerous subversive, until it finds out there's an eager audience for this music -- and money to be made. Huey falls for black singer Felicia (Felicia Boswell), who's singing in an underground club run by her brother, Delray (Quentin Earl Darrington), but in an era when interracial relations are verboten, the results are explosive. Director Christopher Ashley keeps the excitement nearly nonstop, assisted by Sergio Trujillo's choreography and his dedicated dancers and spectacular performances by Fenkart, Boswell, Darrington, Johnson, Will Mann, Kent Overshown and Whitney Cooper. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m. Produced by Junkyard Dog Productions. (800) 982-2787, BroadwayLA.org.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 1 & 6:30 p.m. Starts: July 31. Continues through Aug. 12, 2012