Jerry Lee Lewis Sings with Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet Sept. 10
By Adam Hetrick
Audiences at Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet may think they are seeing double Sept. 10. Rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis, who is a character in the Tony-nominated musical, joins the cast for a special encore at the Nederlander Theatre.
Lewis is the last surviving member of the original "Quartet," and is set to join the Broadway cast for a performance following the 8 PM performance of the 90-minute musical Sept. 10.
It has not been revealed what Lewis will perform. The icon recently teamed up with Million Dollar Quartet cast member Levi Kreis to record the 1959 song "Money (That's What I Want)." The duet will be included on a limited-edition release of Lewis' upcoming album "Mean Old Man." The special edition will be sold exclusively at the Nederlander. The regular album was released Sept. 7.
Actor Kreis earned the 2010 Best Featured Actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Lewis in the musical that conjures the legendary Memphis recording session that united the famed rock pianist, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins.
Eddie Clendening, Lance Guest, Kreis and Rob Lyons, who all appeared in the Chicago cast, re-create their work for Broadway audiences. In addition to Kreis as Lewis, Clendening plays Elvis Presley, Guest is Johnny Cash, and Lyons is Carl Perkins.
Eric Schaeffer staged the musical based on the real-life 1956 recording that the foursome 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. 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, who won the Tony.
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 MillionDollarQuartetLive.
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