Perkins, Elvis, Cash and Lewis Are Chicago's Hot Million Dollar Quartet, Opening Nov. 5
By Kenneth Jones
Million Dollar Quartet, a new musical inspired by the famed 1956 recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll legends Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley, was hot enough in its Chicago premiere this fall at the Goodman Theatre to prompt a winter move to the Apollo Theatre. Its official Apollo (re-)opening is Nov. 5, following previews from Oct. 31.
Million Dollar Quartet had its world premiere at Florida's Seaside Music Theatre, and was subsequently staged at the Village Theatre in Washington state, breaking box-office records.
Critics have embraced the show, which is driven by period pop numbers including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On."
Directed by Eric Schaeffer (Broadway's Glory Days, Putting It Together, London's Witches of Eastwick) and Floyd Mutrux with a book by Mutrux and Colin Escott, Million Dollar Quartet is produced by Dee Gee Theatricals and John Cossette Productions.
Here's how producers characterize the experience: "On Dec. 4, 1956, 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."
Expect "a treasure trove of the greatest rock 'n' roll, gospel, R & B and country hits from these music legends."
The production stars Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis, Lance Guest as Johnny Cash, Rob Lyons as Carl Perkins and Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley, with Brian McCaskill as Sam Phillips and Kelly Lamont as Elvis' girlfriend, Dyanne.
For tickets visit the Apollo Theater box office, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave, or call (773) 935-6100 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for the regular run are $25-$64.50.
The Apollo performance schedule is Wednesday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM; Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday at 8 PM; Saturday at 5 PM and 8 PM and Sunday at 3:30 and 6:30 PM. There is a special Thanksgiving week schedule.
The Apollo Theater is located at 2540 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.
Discounted tickets for groups are available by calling Group Theater Tix at (312) 423-6612, or by visiting www.grouptheatertix.com.
For more show information, visit www.milliondollarquartetlive.com.
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