Jared Mason Will Succeed Tony Winner Levi Kreis in Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet
By Adam Hetrick
Jared Mason will succeed Tony Award winner Levi Kreis as rock pianist Jerry Lee Lewis in the Broadway production of Million Dollar Quartet beginning March 15 at the Nederlander Theatre.
An original cast member of the Chicago premiere of Million Dollar Quartet, Kreis repeated his work as Lewis for the Broadway engagement, earning the 2010 Best Featured Actor in a Musical Tony Award. His last performance will be March 13.
Mason, who currently plays Carl Perkins, has been with the Million Dollar Quartet ensemble since the 1950s jukebox musical arrived on Broadway last spring. Original cast member Robert Britton Lyons will return to the role of Perkins later this spring. He is now appearing in the London production.
Prior to his departure from Million Dollar Quartet, Kreis will perform at Joe's Pub Feb. 28 to celebrate his latest album "Where I Belong."
Million Dollar Quartet also features Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley and Lance Guest as Johnny Cash. The Broadway cast also features Corey Kaiser as Jay Perkins, Larry Lelli as Fluke, 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.
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 also earned a Best Musical Tony nomination, as well as a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical.
"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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