Hickory – Rock and Roll, and Rhythm and Blues will take center stage when Hickory Community Theatre presents the musical MEMPHIS, the story of a white radio DJ whose love of good music transcends race lines and airwaves. The show, and the music, kicks off at “Delray’s” the underground black rock and roll night club. Delray Farrell runs the club and his friend Gator tends the bar. In the HCT production these roles are played by two talented actors who have shared the stage there in three prior shows.
Dontel Mills, who plays Delray, and Robert “Tatum” Terry first met on the set of DREAMGIRLS in 2018. They subsequently appeared together in HAIR in 2019 and again in A RAISIN IN THE SUN in 2020.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Mills relocated to the Hickory area as a child. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and is currently a marketing consultant for South Key in Charlotte. His favorite thing about Hickory Community Theatre is the inclusion and he says he was drawn to audition for MEMPHIS by the music selection. “Growing up,” he says, “music and theatre were my way to stand out against nine siblings.”
MEMPHIS is Terry’s fifth outing at HCT and he has also performed at several other, local theatres, including The Green Room and Old Colony Players. “I have loved this show for years,” he says. “After years of YouTube videos, I knew I had to be a part of this performance. Gator is stand out character without saying a word until he feels it necessary. His reasoning for being silent is something so powerful and real.”
Performances of MEMPHIS are August 26th through September 10th, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:30 and Thursday, September 8th at 7:30.
The HCT’s 73rd season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. MEMPHIS is supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the State of North Carolina and from the National Endowment for the Arts. The City of Hickory Community Relations Council is an Associate Producer.
PHOTO: Dontel Mills (left) plays Delray Farrell and Robert “Tatum” Terry plays Gator in MEMPHIS, coming to the Hickory Community Theatre. Photo by Eric Seale.