BWW Review: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Brings History to Life at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
In 1956 Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins spent one evening jamming together at Sun Studios. The group was referred to as the "Million Dollar Quartet" and the recording became famous. Years later a musical was made to commemorate that famous night and the show is on stage now at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.
Each actor brings a unique vibe to the production. Brian Michael Henry's Lewis is petulant but buzzing with energy and ambition. Christopher Wren is an incredibly talented guitarist and plays the snarky Perkins as brimming with bitterness. Edward La Cardo embraces the extreme physicality of his role as Elvis and nails the vocals, but doesn't quite capture the inherent charm of the crooner. Last but not least, Justin Figueroa's performance as the quiet, smoldering Johnny Cash just makes the show. His baritone notes and calm demeanor make you lean in and really listen every time he approaches a microphone. Jill Kelly Howe and Eddie Curry round out the cast in supporting roles.
Michael Layton's set design brings the recording studio to life and fills the space with instruments. Guitars, a drum set, upright bass, piano and more cover almost every inch of the stage. David Perry and Nathan Shew provide onstage music to supplement the main quartet and they are excellent.
All-in-all the show is a fun one. The rollicking songs have audience members tapping their feet and singing along with the familiar lyrics. The show falls into the category of a concert musical, taking beloved music and turning it into a stage show. The thing that sets this one apart is that the plot pulled from real life. There's no fictional story, like there is in ABBA's "Mamma Mia!" or Billy Joel's "Movin' Out". That gives the musical an added depth, in my opinion, and it's fun to discover more about the roots of the well-known singers. Fans of last year's Ring of Fire or oldies in general are sure to love this one!
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until Aug. 26. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The buffet is served from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. For Wednesday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m. For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $44 to $69 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet.
Photos courtesy of Beef & Boards