By Adam Hetrick
07 Jun 2011
The Tony Award-nominated musical opened on Broadway April 11, 2010, at the Nederlander Theatre following an acclaimed Chicago run, where the musical continues to play the Apollo Theater. When it closes, Million Dollar Quartet will have played 34 previews and 489 regular performances.
Producers have not announced official dates of the Off-Broadway transfer, but performances are expected to begin at New World Stages in July.
Million Dollar Quartet struggled at the box office in recent weeks, grossing $242,786 for the May 30-June 5 week, and playing to 36.8% capacity. The Off-Broadway transfer will allow producers to continue the run in a smaller venue with less overhead expenses.
Million Dollar Quartet is among a handful of Broadway productions to transfer Off-Broadway recently. Avenue Q and The 39 Steps both made the leap Off-Broadway to extend their New York runs. In addition, the Broadway production of Rock of Ages transferred from the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to the smaller Helen Hayes last winter to streamline costs.
Relevant Theatricals, John Cossette Productions, American Pop Anthology, Broadway Across America and James L. Nederlander produce Million Dollar Quartet.
The musical will launch its U.S. tour this October in Cleveland, OH. Open-ended productions also continue in Chicago and London.
The production earned a 2010 Best Musical Tony nomination, as well as a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical. Original cast member Levi Kreis, who played Jerry Lee Lewis, won the Best Featured Actor in a Musical Tony Award.
Eric Schaeffer staged the musical based on the real-life 1956 recording that the foursome (Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis) made at Sun Records' studio in Memphis. Million Dollar Quartet has a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux; the latter conceived and originally directed the musical.
The creative team includes Derek McLane (scenic design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Kai Harada (sound design) and Chuck Mead (musical arrangements and supervision).
"On Dec. 4, 1956," production notes state, "an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley together. The place was Sun Records' storefront studio in Memphis. The man who made it happen was Sam Phillips, the 'Father of Rock 'n' Roll,' who discovered them all. The four legends-to-be united for the only time in their careers for an impromptu recording that has come to be known as one of the greatest rock jam sessions of all time. . . . Million Dollar Quartet captures the infectious spirit, freewheeling excitement and thrilling sounds of a singular moment when four of the music industry's most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history."
For more information visit MillionDollarQuartetLive.