BWW Interview: TJ Jones IS The King for Centre Stage's MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
The Tony® Award Winning musical Million Dollar Quartet takes place in late 1956, when Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley met one day at Memphis' legendary Sun Studios for one extraordinary jam session.
Centre Stage brings this session to life in a new production opening tonight.
We asked TJ Jones, who plays Elvis, to tell us a little about himself and what we can expect from the show.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name's Tj. I love all kinds of art and my past includes visual, musical, mechanical, theatrical, and lyrical arts. I have completely loved Elvis Presley since I was a little boy and have taken some of him to soul. I currently work days at Greenville Internal Medicine.
What was your familiarity with the music of the M$Q before you were cast in the show?
Most of the tunes in the show were very familiar if not already part of a setlist I've played in the past. I was raised on this music and love it.
What's been the most enjoyable part of the process?
Working with the cast and crew has been just plain wonderful. I feel I'm going to a hangout with a big group of friends every night, which actually IS the case. Seriously, I love everyone I've had the pleasure of working with here.
How do you think/hope audiences will react?
I hope the old will reminisce, the young will find interest in these characters, and everybody will wanna just dance. Also, I really hope some little ones will look at the stage and think, "I'm going to do that when I grow up," like I did!
Why do you think this music and these artists have continued to endure?
This music is simple, clear, and raw; and the artists were the same way. I honestly believe it would be very hard or downright impossible to forget. Plus, most of our current popular music is based upon this era's founding principles of rhythm and flow.
We are having a blast, and everyone that comes to see will join us!
Million Dollar Quartet
Directed by Glenda ManWaring
Music Direction by Matt Rexford
Choreography and Co-Direction by Paige ManWaring
July 20 - August 12
Thurs. - Sat. 8pm
Tickets for Million Dollar Quartet are $35, $30, and $20. Student rush tickets are available for $15 with school ID (based on availability), one ticket per ID. Shows run Thursday through Sunday and all seats are reserved. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (864) 233-6733 on Tuesdays - Fridays from 2-6 p.m, in person at the Centre Stage Box Office, or online at www.centrestage.org. Handling fees will be applied to all purchases. Centre Stage is located in downtown Greenville SC.
Million Dollar Quartet is generously sponsored by Rolling Green Village.
Johnny Culwell as Carl Perkins Jordan Hanner as Brother Jay
Joshua Jones as Johnny Cash Kip Brock as Fluke
TJ Jones as Elvis Presley Andy Lehman as Sam Phillips
Matt Rexford as Jerry Lee Lewis Lindsay Polowczuk as Dyanne
Photo credit: Escobar Photography