“Million Dollar Quartet!” – A nostalgic visit to the rock and roll era
On Dec. 4, 1956 four brilliant young men on the verge of realizing their dreams of soaring into the heights of the music business met at the ramshackle Sun Studio in Memphis for a relaxed jam session. They were called together by their then producer/manager, Sun Studio owner Sam Phillips (Rich Matli) who narrates the story in Broadway By The Bay’s “Million Dollar Quartet” that tells how he discovered Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. He keeps encouraging each to reach within themselves to become the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s charter inductees they became.
Directed by Alicia Jeffrey, with the book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, with outstanding music arranged by Chuck Mead, this package of the beginning of the rock and roll era will bring back memories to those who lived through that time.
The four actors who play the budding stars are musicians first and then actors. Tarif Pappu takes the Carl Perkins role with Nick Kenrick as Jerry Lee Lewis, Michael Perrie Jr. as Johnny Cash and Sam C. Jones as Elvis Presley. They all handle their memorable parts well in both areas and keep the theatre jumping with renditions of “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Walk The Line,” “Great Balls Of Fire,” and “Hound Dog,” just to name a few. When they join and harmonize with spirituals like “Peace in the Valley’ and “Down By the Riverside,” they touch the soul. Music explodes and shakes the theatre throughout with this wild exhibition of amazing compositions that will have some of us remembering and others wondering where it all came from – and where it went.
The set by scenic designer Kelly James Tighe with lighting by Aaron Spivey brings the realistic one room and recording studio to the stage.
If you are or have been a rock and roll aficionado, “Million Dollar Quartet” is definitely for you. If rock and roll is not your cup of tea, “Million Dollar Quartet” could be a serendipitous adventure.
“Million Dollar Quartet”
Where: Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway, Redwood City
Through: June 24
Running time: 90 minutes – no intermission
For reservations and information: call 650/579-5565 or visit www.broadwayby the bay.org
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