Brandon Bennett, Heather Marie Marsden Join Chicago's MDQ
Million Dollar Quartet, now in its third year, continues performances through December 31, 2011 as new cast members Brandon Bennett (Elvis Presley), Heather Marie Marsden (Dyanne) Brad Ber (Jay Perkins/Bass player) and Dan Leali (Fluke/Drummer) join Gabe Bowling (Carl Perkins), Lance Lipinsky (Jerry Lee Lewis), Sean Sullivan (Johnny Cash) and Tim Decker (Sam Phillips) for the hit show. The Tony-nominated musical inspired by the famed 1956 recording session that brought together legendary rock ‘n' roll icons Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley, celebrates its long run in Chicago, a multiple Tony-nominated New York run, a long-running London production and a national tour beginning in October 2011.
Original Chicago cast members Kelly Lamont, Billy Shaffer and Chuck Zayas will be joining the national tour, launching October 11, 2011, in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Chicago production continues to break box office records at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Tickets are on sale through December 31, 2011 at the Apollo box office, phone (773) 935-6100, and online through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit www.milliondollarquartetlive.com.
Producer Gigi Pritzker comments, "Million Dollar Quartet is a hit in Chicago, New York and London, and it will soon be embarking on a national tour. Million Dollar Quartet is about to enter its 4th year in Chicago, and it remains as fresh, energetic and engaging as always-partially due to the more than 20 rock ‘n' roll hits in the show and the tremendous talent on stage. As we move into the fall, Chicago audiences will see a few new cast members and we are thrilled that they will be bringing new energy and enthusiasm to the Apollo. Since the show has become an international phenomenon, the interested pool of talent from across the country has been unprecedented and we are thrilled to have assembled such a strong Chicago company."
ABOUT THE CAST
Brandon Bennett (Elvis Presley) a native of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, has performed with legendary stars like The Jordanaires, DJ Fontana and The Sweet Inspirations. Brandon has been honored with several international awards, including prestigious honors from Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. He joins the cast of MDQ after performing for the past two years with the stage production The Elvis Story in Quebec, Canada.
Gabe Bowling (Carl Perkins) has been with Million Dollar Quartet since the show opened in 2008. Prior to joining MDQ, Gabe was professional actor in both Chicago and Los Angeles, focusing mainly on films and commercials. Originally a Wisconsin native, he has toured nationally in multiple bands and is currently the lead guitarist for the rock band Fat J and The Pinners. He is also the brains behind the instrumentation and songwriting in his side project Gabe vs. The Sad Kids.
Lance Lipinsky (Jerry Lee Lewis), a Texas native, grew up studying his dad's record collection of Elvis, Roy Orbison, and his hero, Jerry Lee Lewis. These influences never left him and now, at age 24, he combines these styles in his own original music similar to early Rock & Roll, classic Country and even a touch of 1960's pop. His energetic live shows have led him all over the world, even to making his national television debut at the original Ryman Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN.
Sean Sullivan (Johnny Cash) was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best Principle Role for Shattered Globe's Requiem for a Heavyweight. Originally from Ohio, he has been working in Chicago since 2002, where he has appeared at TimeLine in Fiorello! and The Children's Hour; Lifeline Theatre in The Island of Dr Moreau; and BackStage Theatre Co., where he is an ensemble member and designer.
Tim Decker (Sam Phillips), a longtime Chicago actor, has appeared at Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman, Next, Milwaukee Rep, Touchstone, Shattered Globe, Stage Left, Famous Door, American Theatre Company, and American Blues (where he received a Principal Actor Jeff Award for his work in Toys in the Attic), among others.
Heather Marie Marsden (Dyanne) appeared in the world premieres of Mask, directed by Richard Maltby, Jr., The Beastly Bombing, and It Came from Beyond; A Chorus Line and the national tour of Sweet Charity. She played Mrs. Lovett on The Office and has over 55 television and film credits. Her songs and recordings have been featured on Law & Order: CI, HBO's Wild...Whites of W. Virginia, Melrose Place 2.0, Miss Teen USA and others.
Dan Leali (Fluke, Drummer) a native of the Chicago area, has performed with jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker; songwriters Jewel, Liz Phair, Peter Himmelman and Robbie Fulks; Poi Dog Pondering; Fareed Haque; bluesman John Primer; and Liquid Soul. He has performed on television and radio jingles, as well as arcade and video game soundtracks, and maintains a private teaching practice. Dan is also a founding member of the band Tributosaurus.
Brad Ber (Jay Perkins, Bass player) is been a professional upright bass player specializing in rockabilly, blues and American roots music. He has been honored to play alongside a wide array of artists, from original Sun artists to exciting new national acts. He has worn many hats, from recording artist and performer to songwriter and recording engineer.
ABOUT MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
On December 4, 1956, an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together. The place was Sun Records' storefront studio in Memphis. The man who made it happen was Sam Phillips, the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll," who discovered them all. The four legends-to-be united for the only time in their careers for an impromptu recording that has come to be known as one of the greatest rock jam sessions of all time.
Million Dollar Quartet features a treasure trove of the greatest rock 'n' roll, gospel, R&B and country hits from these music legends, including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Riders in the Sky," "Whole Lotta' Shakin' Goin' On," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," and "Hound Dog." Million Dollar Quartet captures the infectious spirit, freewheeling excitement and thrilling sounds of a singular moment when four of the music industry's most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history.
Directed by Eric Schaeffer and Floyd Mutrux, with a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux. Million Dollar Quartet is produced by Relevant Theatricals, John Cossette Productions and Northern Lights Inc.
Million Dollar Quartet had its world premiere at Florida's Seaside Music Theatre, and was subsequently staged at the Village Theatre in Washington, breaking box office records. In Chicago, the production moved to the Apollo on November 5, 2008, following its sold-out, limited engagement at the Goodman's Owen Theatre. The Broadway production garnered three Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Levi Kreis; three Drama League Award nominations; and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. Million Dollar Quartet is currently playing in New York at New World Stages, London at the Noel Coward Theatre and will embark on a national tour in the fall.
Million Dollar Quartet tickets are now on sale through December 31, 2011. Tickets to Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater are available through the Apollo Theater box office, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave, (773) 935-6100. Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com.
Tickets are $25-$77.50. (Standard ticketing fees apply.)
Rush student tickets for select performances (Wed-Fri and Sun evenings only) are available 2 hours prior to curtain at the box office with valid Student ID. Student rush tickets are subject to availability.
The Apollo performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Beginning September 11, Sunday performances are 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. During the summer months, Sunday performances are at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Million Dollar Quartet will offer special family discounts on select Sundays. Family nights are currently scheduled for September 18, October 23 and November 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets to Million Dollar Quartet Family Nights are buy one, get one free. (One child under 17 will be admitted free with each adult ticket purchase.) The evenings will feature giveaways with special gifts from Million Dollar Quartet. Check www.milliondoallarquartetlive.com for upcoming Family Nights.
Million Dollar Quartet is a 90-minute, family-friendly production. Audience members of all ages are invited to laugh, clap-and even dance-during the show.
For more show information, visit www.milliondollarquartetlive.com.