New DiPietro/Bryan Tuner About 1960s Brill Building Musicians; New Details Revealed!

By: Apr. 07, 2011
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MEMPHIS collaborators Joe DiPietro and David Bryan shared the spotlight on Wednesday, April 6 at Sirius/XM's Live on Broadway radio show hosted by Seth Rudetsky. The Tony Award winning duo spoke with Rudetsky about their upcoming project now in the works; a musical about a group of songwriters during the early 1960's working in New York City's historic Brill Building. Considered a city landmark, the Brill Building was once the centerpiece of America's music industry, with writers, musicians, record companies and promoters calling the office space their home. The tale will follow a talented female songwriter who comes up against some harsh obstacles in a male-dominated industry. "The irony will be that after all her hard work, everyone will be out of a job once the Beatles invade America in 1964", explains DiPietro.

The writing team recalled MEMPHIS' long journey from its earliest beginnings in Palo Alto in 2003 to its 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical. "In a way, the buzz and anticipation for the show to come to New York was great for us", muses DiPietro. "The longer we didn't do it, the more people couldn't wait to see it". Adds Bryan, "We became urban legends".

The co-creators were most excited to talk about the upcoming film version of MEMPHIS, coming to theaters across the country at the end of the month. Filmed over five shows before a live audience, the movie will be in high definition, using 16 different camera angles. In the past, filming Broadway shows was frowned upon by producers who feared that audiences wouldn't come to see a live show if they could watch it in a movie theater. However that theory was ultimately disproved when the long running musical CHICAGO continued to endure despite its Academy Award winning counterpart. "It can only be good for the brand", offered DiPietro. "People can see what Broadway looks like and want to see more."

The highlight of the radio show came with David Bryan's poignant rendition of "Memphis Lives in Me", the 11th hour number from MEMPHIS. Earlier in the show, Bryan had shared with the audience that he and fellow band mate Jon Bon Jovi shunned the musical theater world during their high school years in New Jersey. Listening to Bryan's rich, soulful, voice belting out this show-stopping tune made that awfully hard to believe!

MEMPHIS will be coming to movie theaters nationwide for a 4-day event from April 28 - May 3. For ticket information and a list of participating theaters in your area, please visit:

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos