Review: GREAT BALLS OF FIRE at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

A great time with a limited run-now through June 25

By: Jun. 12, 2022

Review: GREAT BALLS OF FIRE at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Goodness, gracious, Dutch Apple's newest show is a lot of fun. Jason Cohen and a band of four, play the hits of Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and many other icons of the 1950's in Great Balls of Fire.

Cohen has extensive experience as "The Killer" since he portrayed "J.L.L." hundreds of times in the musical, Million Dollar Quartet. All of those performances paid off handsomely as Cohen puts on a powerhouse show.

Cohen has mastered the showboat piano style of his icon, with a bunch of the trademark piano riffs, finger guns, and non-stop bounciness that Lee Lewis is known for. My favorite addition to the show was the "keyboard cam" that would periodically give the audience an up-close look at all that dazzling finger work.

The back-up band consisting of Justin Brown, Jon Rossi, Ben Shepperd, and Spiff Wiegand were all masters of their respective instruments. The sound was loud and tight on numbers such as "Shake, Rattle, and Roll", "Johnny B. Good" and the eponymous tune.

In between songs, there was playful banter with the audience, a few jokes were cracked and we learned a little bit about Jerry Lee Lewis and crew. While this show is a tribute to the singer, it is essentially a concert, not a biography. (Check out Million Dollar Quartet or the 1989 movie about the singer for that).

I attended the show with a party of 7. It was equally fun for the teenager of the group, as it was for the member who could remember when these songs were first on the radio. Chances are good that you will also find something to like and might end up dancing in the aisles. The limited run of the show plays now through June 25th. A wop bop a loo bop a wop bam boom!