Tony Award nominee Nancy Opel will join the cast of Memphis on March 15 as Mama, alongside John Jellison, a current ensemble member who will assume the role of Mr. Simmons. Original cast members Cass Morgan and Michael McGrath will play their final performances in the two roles on March 13. The show, which won four 2010 Tonys, including Best Musical, continues its run at the Shubert Theatre, directed by Christopher Ashley.
A Tony nominee for Urinetown, Opel most recently appeared in the West End production of Paradise Found. Her Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Triumph of Love, Anything Goes, Sunday in the Park with George and Evita. Off-Broadway credits include The Toxic Avenger, Polish Joke, Mere Mortals and All in the Timing. Opel played the title role in the national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone.
Jellison’s many Broadway credits include The Phantom of the Opera, All Shook Up, Caroline or Change, Oklahoma! Putting It Together, On the Town, The Capeman, Titanic, Crazy For You, Mastergate, Me And My Girl, Sunday in the Park With George and Nick and Nora
Memphis takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50s, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun (Tony nominee Chad Kimball) fell in love with everything he shouldn't: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer (Tony nominee Montego Glover). The show features a Tony-winning score by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro and a Tony-winning book by DiPietro.