Covert learned about the “54 Sings Memphis” reunion show just before Thanksgiving 2017, and didn’t hesitate to participate. “Memphis was and still is very special to me,” he said. “I originated the roles of Buck Wiley and Martin Holton. The score, by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan and the brilliant Joe DiPietro is a blast to sing, and to reunite with other Original Broadway Cast Members seemed like a fun thing to do.”
“Memphis” is set in the 1950s in the Tennessee city of the title. It tells the story of a dangerous, for the time, love affair between a white rock and roll disc jockey and an African American singer. The original Broadway production ran from October 2009 through August 2012 and won four Tony Awards in 2010. The 54 Below performance features a host of original principal “Memphis,” cast members, including Chad Kimball, Cass Morgan, and Covert.
A Labor of Love
“For me, ‘Memphis’ was the Broadway show that I did that was a labor of love,” Covert said. “It was a Tony Award-winning Best Musical based on a completely original idea. To be able to unfold that story every night to people for the first time was exhilarating and truly special. When we opened we didn’t know if the show would last another week.”
Ultimately, along with winning four Tonys, the show had a four-year Broadway run. Covert, who performed in all of the “Memphis” workshops and out-of-town tryouts and can be seen in the filmed version of the show, left the production after a year and a half to perform in the Original Broadway Revival of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.” He has been on Shenandoah’s faculty since 2016.
Covert is happily anticipating the “Memphis” performance. “I made some truly special lifelong friends doing Memphis. I can’t wait to be with them all again for one beautiful night!”
The “54 Sings Memphis” performances are at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4, at Feinstein’s/54 Below at 254 West 54th St. in New York City. Tickets are available online at 54below.com/events/54-sings-memphis.