Million Dollar Quartet, Broadway’s newest jukebox musical, begins its four week preview period tonight at the Nederlander Theatre. The musical tells the story of the legendary impromptu recording session by rock superstars Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley in 1956. With a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, the show features hit songs like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “I Walk the Line,” “Fever,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Riders in the Sky,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”
Starring as the musical greats are Eddie Clendening (Presley), Lance Guest (Cash), Levi Kreis (Lewis) and Rob Lyons (Perkins), who are all making their Broadway debuts following their run in the roles in the Chicago production of the show. Hunter Foster plays Sam Phillips, the man who discovered them all and who brought them together for this most memorable night in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, and Elizabeth Stanley plays Dyanne, a woman who arrives with Elvis on that December night more than half a century ago.
Directed by Eric Schaeffer, the show will open on 11 April. The official website is available here.
Following two flop jukebox musicals based on the music of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash respectively, will Million Dollar Quartet actually be any better? I suppose taking a pinch of the Jersey Boys formula and marrying the music to it’s actual context has helped and the show was certainly very popular during its Chicago run. But to me, it still seems like just another jukebox musical at this point.