Tuesday 24th – Saturday 28th October 2017
Stagecraft: Book: Performance:
Pulling in one of the most historic moments in Rock ‘n’ Roll history, the Million Dollar Quartet unleashes upon us the one and only night that some of the worlds best known Rock ‘n’ Roll artists were to come together. This musical is set in the summer of 1956, when Sam Phillips,’ the founder of Sun Studios, had already delivered to the world Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and not forgetting the one & only Elvis Presley. For one session only, Sun Studios played host to four of these heavyweights together, an encounter which was either a coincidence or a well-worked plan by Sam Phillips, & one that would never happen again. With so many unique and diverse musical characters merging in one small recording studio, I wondered what the out come was to be; perhaps an extravaganza of songs, hilarity, bickering and conflicting attitudes. It is difficult to imagine the energy that was present in that studio on that monumentous evening. As the huge curtain slowly rises upwards, you are welcomed with the sweet sound of guitar riffs and lyrics that transport you back to the iconic era that was the rocking 50s.
Sam Phillips’ recording studio was recreated with some excellent craftsmanship, & beautifully adapted set design was perfect. With the added delight of Martin Kemp playing the famous Sam Phillips, the show was a sure winner. As proceedings commenced, it was clear to see the time and effort that was made in the search of the cast to play each of the musical legends, the resemblances were uncanny. With each individual bringing their own personal touch to their chosen idol, at times I forgot I was watching a musical and not the real thing.
Driven head-on into this catalogue of memorable songs, you are catapulted into a mayhem of infectious dance and rock ‘n’ roll moves. The stage is awash with some of the best, crisp guitar chords I have heard in a long time, a double bass that has your Adam’s Apple bouncing up and down like a yo-yo & vocals that are truly fitting to the time. We are given Jerry Lee Lewis behaving like a character from Men Behaving Badly, which I must say was executed with great acting skills and humour, & the elegant walk and talk of Elvis Presley. Throw into the mix, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Dyanne the girlfriend of Elvis, who, by the way, can sing real good, we have a delightful education as well as a tribute to some of the best artists to have graced the planet. On an entertainment level, Million Dollar Quartet has it all excitement, humour, fun, laughter, music, love, sadness… but most of all hope.
Reviewer : Raymondo