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Million Dollar Quartet: Best Show of the Year

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Tony Maples Photography


Want to know how to score big with audiences of all generations? Look no further than Million Dollar Quartet! An audience of all ages packed the house in anticipation of this action-packed sing-along play about some of music’s most iconic performers. Older audience members will reminisce about the songs of their childhood while younger audience members will recognize popular songs and develop a deeper understanding of the roots of our music heritage.

Photo: Facebook/Million Dollar Quartet

Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and of course, Elvis Presley, are depicted in this stunning portrayal of a night at the recording studio in December of 1956. Led by then producer Sam Phillips, each character comes to life as the audience gets to eavesdrop on a jam session that went down in music history. We not only get to see a number of iconic songs performed, but also the development and emergence of each singer’s personality come to life. Cash and Perkins, portrayed as more subdued, Elvis with glimpses of a conflicted mind, and Lewis, colorful and flashy at every step, the cast did justice to each singer’s underlying personality. Most fun, perhaps, are their reactions to one another. Lewis is a flashy, ever strutting peacock, much to the dismay of Perkins. Several struggle with the decision of what record label to stay with or pursue, and we see the emergence of pain and loneliness as they each question loyalty and who they can actually rely on as they pursue fame.

Just when it seems the play is about to end, the cast comes back on stage and delivers a concert that would have one believing the late 50s were back in full swing. The stage became alive with lights, sounds, music, and dancing. The audience couldn’t help but stand and dance and sing along. One by one, classic songs by each of the artists lit up the stage and lit up the faces of the audience.

Ultimately, in this writer’s view, it was the best show of the year and deserves high acclaim. It most certainly was a birthday celebration to remember for one 87-year-old Elvis fan. Ruth Norris exclaims, “I can’t see how any birthday could beat this one!”

Million Dollar Quartet is currently playing at ZACH Theatre in Austin, TX. Don’t miss it!