Lee Rocker Begins Limited Broadway Engagement in Million Dollar Quartet Jan. 21
By Adam Hetrick
Grammy Award-nominated Stray Cats musician Lee Rocker joins the Broadway cast of Million Dollar Quartet Jan. 21 for a limited 12-performance engagement.
Rocker, who is the bassist and vocalist for the rockabilly band The Stray Cats, steps into the role of Jay Perkins for original Million Dollar Quartet cast member Corey Kaiser, who is taking a scheduled vacation from the production. Kaiser will return to the production Feb. 1.
The Stray Cats are know for such hits as "Rock This Town," "Stray Cat Strut" and "Sexy and 17." Rocker also recorded "Blue Seude Shoes" and "Honey Don't" with Jay's brother, Carl Perkins. Rocker is also slated to perform in a special jam session with the Million Dollar Quartet cast following his final performance on Jan. 30.
Million Dollar Quartet leads Eddie Clendening, Lance Guest and Tony Award winner Levi Kreis, who all appeared in the Chicago cast, re-create their work for Broadway audiences. Kreis portrays Lewis, Clendening plays Elvis Presley, Guest is Johnny Cash. Jared Mason has joined the cast as 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 James Moye 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," 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."
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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