Million Dollar Quartet
July 21 to September 11, 2016
THE MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
Book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux. Original Concept and Direction by Floyd Mutrux
Inspired by ELVIS PRESLEY, JOHNNY CASH, JERRY LEE LEWIS and CARL PERKINS
Directed by Hunter Foster. Musical Direction by David Sonneborn
The international smash hit musical, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET takes place on December 4, 1956, when an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together. Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who was responsible for launching the careers of each icon, brought the four legendary musicians together at the Sun Records studio in Memphis for the first and only time. The resulting evening became known as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions in history.
The jam session consisted largely of snippets of gospel songs that the four artists had all grown up singing. The recordings show Elvis, the most nationally and internationally famous of the four at the time, to be the focal point of what was a casual, spur-of-the-moment gathering of four artists who would each go on to contribute greatly to the seismic shift in popular music in the late 1950s.
During the session, Phillips called a local newspaper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar. The newspaper’s entertainment editor came over to the studios with a photographer. The article about the session appeared the following day in the Press-Scimitar under the headline "Million Dollar Quartet".
The jukebox Musical Million Dollar Quartet”, written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, dramatizes the impromptu recording session which is considered a seminal moment in rock and roll history.
It brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations featuring an eclectic score of rock, gospel, R&B and country hits including; “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more.
The Broadway production premiered at the Nederlander Theatre on April 11, 2010, with a cast featuring Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley, Lance Guest as Johnny Cash, Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Britton Lyons as Carl Perkins and Hunter Foster as Sam Phillips. The musical transferred to New World Stages in July 2011 and closed on June 24, 2012. A US national tour and International productions followed.
The musical was nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. Levi Kreis won the award for Best Featured Actor for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis.
Our Production is Directed By Broadway favorite, Hunter Foster, who appeared in the original production. Jennifer Cody is the Associate Director and Choreographer, David Sonneborn, a veteran of the national tour, is The Musical Director.
Our production stars: John Michael Presney as Carl Perkins, Dominique Scott as Jerry Lee Lewis, Sky Seals as Johnny Cash, Ari Mckay Wilford as Elvis Presley, Jason Loughlin as Sam Phillips, David Sonneborn as Fluke, Bligh Voth as Dyanne, Sam Weber as Jay Perkins, and Jason Cohen and Sarah Hanlon are the Standbys.
Set Design is by Derek McLane, Costumes Designed by Molly Walz, Lighting Design is by Andrew Gmoser, Sound Design is by Jonathan Hatton and Mark Zuckerman, Sound Consultant is Don Hanna. Additional Scenic Elements are by Adam Koch. Steve Loftus is the Technical Director, Heidi Giarlo is the Costume Coordinator. The Production Stage Manager is Victor Lukas, Sarah Hanlon is the Assistant Stage Manager, and properties are by Grumpy Props. Lisa Tiso is the Associate Producer.
HUNTER FOSTER (Director) is an Artistic Associate at the Bucks County Playhouse where he has directed, Company, Ain’t Misbehavin’, National Pastime, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Summer of ’42, The Buddy Holly Story and It’s a Wonderful Life. Other directing credits include: Grease (North Carolina Theatre), Million Dollar Quartet (Ogunquit Playhouse), Spamalot (Casa Manana), My Fair Lady and Cabaret (Cape Playhouse). As a book writer he has written the books to the musicals, Jasper in Deadland, which played at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle in Spring 2015 following its world premiere at Prospect Theater Company in NYC. Hunter also wrote the book to the Off-Broadway musical, Summer of ’42 which opened at the Variety Arts Theatre in New York City and was nominated for an Outer Critic Award for best new Off Broadway musical. Other recent book writing credits include The Circus in Winter (Goodspeed Musicals), Clyde and Bonnie: A Folktale (New York Musical Theatre Festival, Aurora Theatre), and The Hollow (Signature Theatre). As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway in The Bridges of Madison County, Hands on a Hardbody, Million Dollar Quartet, The Producers, Little Shop of Horrors (Tony nomination), Urinetown, Les Miserables, Footloose, Grease, King David. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BFA in theatre, 1992).
DAVID SONNEBORN (Musical Director) is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and thrilled to be making his WBT debut. He is a longtime NYCmusician, and is an original cast member of The Million Dollar Quartet National Tour, as well as the first regional production of MDQ at the Ogunquit Playhouse. David has performed at the New York Musical Theatre Festival as well as touring nationally in Always, Patsy Cline, and Honky Tonk Angels. He studied drums and percussion at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and attended Ohio State University. Specializing in western swing and classic country music, David currently plays drums or bass in “Western Caravan,” “The San AnTones,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Mary Lamont Band,” and “Teri Joyce and the Tag-alongs.”