"Great Balls of Fire": Million Dollar Quartet Will Begin National Tour in 2011

By Adam Hetrick
and Andrew Gans
May 19, 2010

The Tony Award-nominated musical Million Dollar Quartet will take its jam session on the road in 2011-2012. A tour of the musical will launch October 2011 at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, OH.

Producers announced the tour launch via the Twitter page of the three-time Tony-nominated jukebox musical that puts Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins in the same room. Million Dollar Quartet is based on the real-life 1956 recording that the foursome made at Sun Records' studio in Memphis.

Eric Schaeffer staged the musical that features a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux; the latter conceived and originally directed the musical. Million Dollar Quartet opened April 11 at the Nederlander Theatre following an acclaimed Chicago run, where the musical continues to play the Apollo Theater.

The production earned a Best Musical Tony nomination, as well as Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor for Levi Kreis.

Eddie Clendening, Lance Guest, Levi Kreis and Rob Lyons, who all appeared in the Chicago cast, re-create their work for Broadway audiences. Clendening plays Elvis Presley, Guest is Johnny Cash, the Tony Award-nominated Kreis portrays Jerry Lee Lewis, and Lyons is Carl Perkins.

The Broadway cast also features Tony Award nominee Hunter Foster (Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown, The Producers) as music producer Sam Phillips, and Elizabeth Stanley (Cry-Baby, Company, Xanadu) as Dyanne, a woman who arrives at Sun Records with Elvis on the night of the recording session.

"On Dec. 4, 1956," press 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."

The design team for Broadway includes Derek McLane (scenic design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Kai Harada (sound design) and Chuck Mead (musical arrangements and supervision).

For more information visit www.MillionDollarQuartetLive.com.