BWW Review: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at The John W. Engeman Theatre
Now in the middle of their spectacular fourteenth season, the John W. Engeman Theatre continues to dazzle with an excellent rendition of Million Dollar Quartet. It is a dramatization of a real jam session between Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. The Engeman's terrific incarnation of the jukebox musical by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott runs through March 1st at the exquisite Northport venue.
Among the top-notch cast is Sam Sherwood as Carl Perkins, Sky Seals as Johnny Cash, Noel Carey as Jerry Lee Lewis, and Sean Michael Buckley as Elvis. They are all excellent, but please don't expect them to look exactly like the legends. It is apparent who each gentleman portrays. The historic jam session that evening was arranged by Sam Phillips, portrayed by Luke Darnell. Sam is the head of Sun Records and noted as a founder of Rock and Roll.
Sarah Ellis is also superb as Dyanne, Elvis' girlfriend. The rest of the brilliant cast is completed by Corey Kaiser, who portrays Brother Jay (Carl Perkins' brother who plays the bass for recording sessions) and David Sonneborn, who portrays Fluke, on drums. It is refreshing and amazing to see that the cast is the orchestra. The interaction makes it apparent they're enjoying the time in this show.
As for Mr. Andrews' creative team, Jordan Janota puts his "spin" on Sun Studio. In a stationary set, an elevated studio sits upstage with microphones and other studio equipment making up the jam session floor. Enhanced beautifully by John Burkland's lighting and Dustin Cross' costumes, the production is truly gorgeous.
You will not be disappointed when you catch a performance at the Engeman. And, you'll be dancing in your seats with the music that includes "Blue Suede Shoes", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Hound Dog", and "Great Balls Of Fire". The stunning theatre, a heart-tugging story, and a top-notch cast make for a thrilling night of theatre.
Million Dollar Quartet runs through March 1st at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Northport, Long Island. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (631) 261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.
Directed & Choreographed by Keith Andrews (Engeman Theater: Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story, The Full Monty; Select Regional: On Your Feet!, The Bodyguard, Guys & Dolls, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rock Of Ages), Musical Direction by James Barry (Regional: Million Dollar Quartet and Working at Berkshire Theatre Group), Set Design by JODRAN JANOTA, Costume Design by Dustin Cross, Lighting Design by John Burkland, Sound Design by Laura Shubert, Prop Design by OLIVIA WEISS, Casting by WOJCIK/SEAY CASTING, Stage Management by Leila Scandar and KATIE SPINA (Assistant Stage Manager)
Starring Sean Michael Buckley as Elvis Presley (Regional: Million Dollar Quartet, Walk Hard, 9 to 5, As You Like It, The Three Musketeers), Noel Carey as Jerry Lee Lewis (Off-Broadway: Is Anyone Alive Out There? The Road to Glow; National Tour: Murder For Two; Regional: Million Dollar Quartet), Luke Darnell as Sam Phillips (Off-Broadway: The Other Josh Cohen, Cyrano de Bergerac,a??The Goree All-Girl String Band; Select Regional:a??The Understudy, End Of The Rainbow, Jersey Boys, MDQ, Oliver! TV: "Gotham," "Ghost Whisperer," "General Hospital," "Momsters"); Sky Seals as Johnny Cash (Off-Broadway: Sessions: The Musical; Regional: Million Dollar Quartet, God of Carnage, Hair, Pippin, Henry VI, Part III) and Sam Sherwood as Carl Perkins (Engeman Theater: Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story; Off-Broadway: Woody Sez, Fancy; International: German and Austrian premieres of Ring of Fire; Regional: Once, Million Dollar Quartet, ... Forum; Lost Highway; Cotton Patch Gospel; Pump Boys & Dinettes; Smoke, he Road: My Life with John Denver, Buddy) with Sarah Ellis as Dyanne, Corey Kaiser as Brother Jay and David Sonneborn as Fluke
Photo By Michael DeCristofaro