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BWW Review: Hale Centre Theatre's MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is a Big Hit

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MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET plays through October 24, 2020.

BWW Review: Hale Centre Theatre's MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is a Big Hit

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET fills Hale Centre Theatre with big personalities, big voices, and big feelings.

The musical was initially slated to play Hale Centre Theatre's Jewel Box Stage starting in May but was delayed due to COVID-19, leaving it without a home when the theatre reopened and other shows were using the space. Because the complex planned Centre Stage production of TITANIC THE MUSICAL was tragically postponed to a future season, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET was slotted in its place.

In many ways the show was perfect for the intimate Jewel Box with its small cast and unit set. How could they transition the production to the cavernous Centre Stage without it being swallowed up? Quite successfully it turns out.

Broadway's MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET (book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux) celebrates the music and lives of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Set in one day, it dramatizes a real recording session that brought these music greats together on December 4, 1956 at Sun Records. They were all discovered by the record label's founder, Sam Phillips, but where do their loyalties lie?

The single-cast performers, led by fantastic actor Bryan Dayley as Sam Phillips (covered by Blake Barlow) bring subtlety to his fascinating relationships with the musicians.

Benjamin D. Hale (understudied by Michael D. Potter) plays Johnny Cash to perfection. It's no wonder, as he played the role in the Las Vegas production of the show.

Michael D. Potter (understudied by Nathan Kremin) has Elvis Presley's swiveled hips and smoldering magnetism down pat, and Brigitta Teuscher is sensational as his girlfriend Dyanne (covered by Megan Heaps).

David Paul Smith plays up a storm as the eccentric Jerry Lee Lewis (covered by Alex Marshall), and Bryan Matthew Hague (covered by Spencer J. Hohl) is a strong presence as Carl Perkins.

Isaac Ericksen as Brother Jay (covered by Kayleigh Dahl) and Todd Mitchell as Fluke (covered by Andrew Glasmacher) add substantially to the impressive live music.

Jaron Hermansen's exciting lighting design nearly single-handedly does the job of filling the space, as each musical number elevates the purposefully drab record studio to a fantasy concert sequence. The set design by Jenn Stapley Taylor is utilized wonderfully to fulfill this concept, and the costume design by Tracy Graham and Peggy Willis, with hair and makeup design by Trisha Ison, add an extra stamp of authenticity.

Although audience members sit shoulder to shoulder without reduced capacity, the theatre is complying with all state and local government mandates for gatherings including a strict requirement for all audience members to be masked at all times. Other policies include rigorous testing and screening for actors and other employees, contact tracing, hand sanitizing stations and frequent disinfecting of surfaces, social distancing markers, and no paper programs or concessions. The theatre's COVID-19 Safety Guide can be found at www.hct.org.

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET plays through October 24, 2020. For tickets, call the box office at 801-984-9000 or visit www.hct.org.

Photo Credit: Hale Centre Theatre.


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From This Author Tyler Hinton