Entertainment » Theatre

Million Dollar Quartet

by Drew Jackson
Wednesday Mar 6, 2013
The cast of ’Million Dollar Quartet’ at the Bass Performance Hall
The cast of ’Million Dollar Quartet’ at the Bass Performance Hall  

Attention: Elvis is in the DFW metroplex. Two completely different shows featuring Elvis Presley debuted this week. Theatre3 presented "Idols of the King" on Monday. And on Tuesday Broadway at the Bass debuted the Fort Worth Premiere of the national tour of "Million Dollar Quartet."

"Million Dollar Quartet" tells the tale of one fateful December afternoon in 1956 where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins arrived in the same place (Sun Records) at the same time and held an impromptu jam session.

"Million Dollar Quartet" is crisp, nimble and amazing. The structure of the show borrows heavily from "The Jersey Boys." Vince Nappo (as Sun Records owner/producer Sam Phillips) provides narration as one or more of the quartet plays one of their hits that more or less accompany the narration.

The only conflict in the show is whether Cash will renew his contract with Phillips. The rest of the show is a great musical concert sung by the actual actors (who also play their own instruments) and accompanied by Bass Player Corey Kaiser and Drummer Billy Shaffer.

The original ’Million Dollar Quartet’  

All four leads are number one hits. James Barry plays Perkins as a guy with a chip on his shoulder, especially with newcomer Jerry Lee Lewis, but eventually comes around.

David Elkins makes for a rangy Cash. But his deep bass voice tremors with talent. Ben Goddard explodes as piano player Jerry Lee Lewis, new to the business but loaded with self-confidence and sizzling fingers. (In the 2010 original Broadway production Levi Kreis won a Tony for playing Lewis.)

And finally, The King. Cody Slaughter performed as Elvis on opening night as well as on Mar. 6 and 10. Billy Woodward will play Elvis Mar. 7 and 8. Slaughter makes for one scorching Elvis. The facial resemblance to Elvis is burning, his singing heartbreaking and the man can shake, rattle and roll. Slaughter is billed as "Elvis Presley Enterprises’ Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2011." Huh? Who knew?

Goodness, gracious. You won’t want to miss this great ball of musical fire. Thank you, very much.

"Million Dollar Quartet" runs through March 10 at The Bass Performance Hall, 4th and Calhoun Streets in Fort Worth. For info or tickets, call 877-212-4280 or visit www.basshall.fortworthboxoffice.com/

Drew Jackson was born in Brooklyn and has been writing ever since he graduated from NYC. He now lives in Dallas happily married to his husband Hugh. Jackson is currently working on his next play.


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