Monday, April 12, 2010

Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway

On December 4, 1956, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley all bumped into each other at Sun Studios and started jamming. Sam Phillips slipped the tape machines on and captured a fair amount of the moment.

In 2006, WKCR dedicated its annual Country Music Festival to celebrating the happening, and the scratchy old LP has become a favorite of more than one new WKCR country music DJ over the years.

Apparently, the show also has reached Broadway.

Charles Isherwood is quite positive about the music in his New York Times review:
There’s a lot to like about this relatively scrappy variation on a familiar theme.


The actors portraying these pioneers — Robert Britton Lyons as Perkins, Lance Guest as Cash, Levi Kreis as Mr. Lewis and Eddie Clendening as Presley — don’t just play the roles but play the music too. Gifted musicians and likable performers, they tackle with no apparent discomfort the unenviable chore of impersonating some of the most revered names in pop music....
On the other hand, he critiques the book for being a bit formulaic -- ending up like a PBS documentary.

When we did that country festival four years ago, we found ourselves going, "Well, there's really only so much to say about the Million Dollar Sessions..." and therefore feeling like three days of music focused on this impromptu event was a bit much. So you do need to round it out somehow.

Not sure when I'll get a chance to see Million Dollar Quartet, but I hope it sticks around for a while because I definitely would like to.

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