Rock ‘n’ Roll music buffs – get ready to be entertained beyond your wildest dreams. Inspired by a true story, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET recounts the tale of the once-in-a-lifetime recording session arranged by music producer Sam Phillips, a session which brought together rock ‘n’ roll legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. December 4, 1956 marked a music milestone history as four young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, to jam. And quite a jam session it was! A Tony award-winning Broadway musical smash hit with book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and original concept and direction by Floyd Mutrux, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET will literally knock your socks off.
It was a Tuesday night a few weeks before Christmas in 1956. Four men who had been unknowns before they were launched by Sun Records entrepreneur Sam Phillips (Sean Casey Flanagan) into the bright spotlight of fame and fortune got together for an impromptu jam session. A prophetic newspaperman who was there to witness the musical moment wrote, “This quartet could sell a million.” Soon, the four musicians were dubbed the Million Dollar Quartet – and they definitely lived up to their name. Interspersed between over 20 enduring songs which they made famous, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET tells some of the backstory of the lives, loves, and conflicts of iconic pioneers Elvis Presley (Jacob Barton). Johnny Cash (Steven Lasiter), Jerry Lee Lewis (Trevor Dorner), and rockabilly Carl Lee Perkins (Nathan Burke), a man who had a seminal influence on the musical genre even if he wasn’t quite as well known a star as his three contemporaries.
With added cast members Taylor Kraft (Dyanne), Justin Bendel (Brother Jay), and Joh Rossi (Fluke) who – together with the iconic quartet members – make music that will electrify the audience, the production is skillfully helmed by Tim Seib. There was even an added bonus at the end of the main performance which had the appreciative audience swaying to forever favorites like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Fever,” “Memories are Made of This,” and “Great Balls of Fire” – to name just a few of the rockin’ and rollin’ tunes offered up in under two short hours. With melodies like this, it’s no small wonder that all of the principals ended up in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Kudos to the energetic, enthusiastic cast, who seemed to be having as much fun as the audience while bringing rock ‘n’ roll to the La Mirada stage. And let’s not forget about all the production crew, without whom a show like this would not be possible. Steve Royal’s and Adam Koch’s scenic design lent authenticity to the show, as did Jeffrey Meek’s costumes. Kirk Bookman’s and Josh Prescott-Smith’s lighting and Matt Karnatz’s audio added just the right amount of excitement to the production. For an exhilarating, entertaining evening of song – with a few factoids thrown in to add to the sizzle – MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET was made for you. If you happen to be a rock ‘n’ roll buff, this is a show which you shouldn’t miss.
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET runs through February 13, 2022 with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, at 8 p.m. on Fridays, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays (no performance at 6:30 on 1/23/22). La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, CA. Tickets range from $17 to $79. For information and reservations, call 562-944-9801 or 714-994-6310 or go online.