National Tour of Million Dollar Quartet Opens in Cleveland, OH, Oct. 13

News   National Tour of Million Dollar Quartet Opens in Cleveland, OH, Oct. 13
The national tour of Million Dollar Quartet, the Tony-nominated jukebox musical about a flashpoint in rock 'n' roll history, officially opens Oct. 13 in Cleveland, OH.

Quartet, which has spawned productions across the worldpremiered in Chicago in 2008 and continues to play the Apollo Theater. It opened on Broadway April 11, 2010, at the Nederlander Theatre and closed in June 2011 prior to an Off-Broadway transfer to New World Stages that began last July. A London production debuted at the Noel Coward Theatre in February 2011.

Eric Schaeffer (Follies) staged the musical based on the real-life 1956 recording that the foursome (Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis) 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.

The production will play Cleveland's PlayhouseSquare through Oct. 23. Additional stops are planned in Rochester, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Buffalo, NY; Milwaukee, WI; Charlotte, NC; Indianapolis, IN; Naples; FL; and Miami, FL; with further dates in Seattle, Memphis, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The cast includes Derek Keeling as Johnny Cash, Cody Slaughter as Elvis Presley, Martin Kaye as Jerry Lee Lewis and Lee Ferris as Carl Perkins. Christopher Ryan Grant plays the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Sam Phillips.

Also in the company are Kelly Lamont as Dyanne, musicians Billy Shaffer (Fluke, drums) and Chuck Zayas (Jay Perkins, bass), as well as Austin Cook, Scott F. Moreau, John Michael Presney, David Sonneborn, Alyssa Marie and Billy Woodward. The creative team includes Derek McLane (scenic design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Kai Harada (sound design) and Chuck Mead (musical arrangements and supervision).

Million Dollar Quartet is set on Dec. 4, 1956, "where an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together," according to production notes. "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 young musicians united for the only time in their careers for an impromptu recording that has come to be known as one of the greatest rock 'n' roll jam sessions of all time." The musical "brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations featuring an eclectic score of rock, gospel, R&B and country hits" including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Matchbox," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Hound Dog," and more.

Million Dollar Quartet won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Levi Kreis) and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical (Colin Escott & Floyd Mutrux). The show received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Musical Revue and three Drama League nominations including Distinguished Production of a Musical and Distinguished Performance.

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