BWW Review: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at Paper Mill Playhouse is Thrilling Rock and Roll
"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn."
by Sam Phillips-Million Dollar Quartet
There's toe tapping, finger snapping, hand clapping excitement now onstage at Paper Mill Playhouse. Million Dollar Quartet, the smash hit musical, is being performed on a limited engagement through Sunday, April 23rd. The book is by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux with the original concept by Mutrux. The Millburn production features outstanding direction by Hunter Foster, excellent musical direction by James Barry and a cast that is pure perfection.
Million Dollar Quartet is inspired by an actual event that took place just before Christmas in 1956 at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, owned and operated by producer and businessman Sam Phillips. The impromptu gathering of famed musicians Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley resulted in one of the greatest jam sessions ever. And while Phillips was responsible for launching the careers of the four men, Sun Records was too small for rising stars. The performance not only showcases each of the iconic musician's extraordinary vocal and instrumental abilities, but the business of the recording industry, as well as insights into the backgrounds and personalities of the characters.
Each member of the show's outstanding cast portrays their roles with exceptional musicality and dynamism. They include Jason Loughlin as Sam Phillips; Alex Boniello as Elvis Presley; James Barry as Carl Perkins; Scott Moreau as Johnny Cash and Nat Zegree as Jerry Lee Lewis. The cast is rounded out by Bligh Voth as Elvis' female friend Dyanne; Sam Weber as bassist, Brother Jay Perkins; and David Sonneborn as percussionist, Fluke. This multi-talented company brings a piece of musical history to life right before your eyes.
Thrill to over twenty musical numbers that include the Carl Perkins' song, "Blue Suede Shoes" performed by the entire Quartet; "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny; "Fever" by Dyanne; "My Babe" by Carl; "Long Tall Sally" by Elvis; and "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee.
The Creative Team has done a fantastic job of bringing Million Dollar Quartet to the Millburn stage with original scenic design by Derek McLane with additional design by; original costume design by Molly Walz with additional design by China Lee; lighting design by Ryan O'Gara; sound design by Randy Hansen; and hair and wig design by Leah Loukas. Casting is by Telsey + Company. The Production Stage Manager is Frank Lombardi.
Get your tickets now and rock and roll with four of the most legendary music greats in a stellar production of Million Dollar Quartet. Bravo to Paper Mill Playhouse's Producing Artistic Director, Mark S. Hoebee and Managing Director, Todd Schmidt for making this show available to metro area audiences.
Million Dollar Quartet will be performed through Sunday, April 23rd. Paper Mill Playhouse is located at 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ. 07041. The schedule is Wednesday at 7:30 pm; Thursday at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm; Friday at 8:00 pm; Saturday at 1:30 pm and 8:00 pm and Sunday at 1:30 pm and 7:00 pm. Ticket prices start at $32. They may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Box Office or online at www.PaperMill.org. Groups of 10 or more can receive a discount and should call 973.315.1670. Students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person the day of the performance at the Box Office.
Photo Credit: Mathew Murphy