Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On with “Million Dollar Quartet” at Westchester Broadway Theatre

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BY GEORGE J. DACRE

l to r: Sky Seals as Johnny Cash, Dominique Scott as Jerry Lee Lewis, Ari Mckay Wilford as Elvis Presley, and John Michael Presney as Carl Perkins
l to r: Sky Seals as Johnny Cash, Dominique Scott as Jerry Lee Lewis, Ari Mckay Wilford as Elvis Presley, and John Michael Presney as Carl Perkins

Writers Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrix give artistic life to an intriguing music event in history in Westchester Broadway Theatre’s fantastic adaptation of “Million Dollar Quartet.”

This show is a suburban take on the impromptu jam session at Sun Studios in Nashville Tuesday, December 4, 1956 where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis are said to have partly by chance dropped in and started making music.

Perkins and Lewis were already there for a scheduled recording. Sun Studios owner Sam Phillips ran a tape as a souvenir when Presley, who had dropped in with a girlfriend for a casual visit, got involved with Carl Perkins and Cash, who already were in the studio, and Jerry Lee Lewis, who Philllips had recruited to play with Perkins. The legends meet and so the fun begins.

The Cast Of Million Dollar Quartet
The Cast Of Million Dollar Quartet

Westchester Broadway has a big winner with this show that builds a jam session into a full-fledged play, bringing record industry drama into the show when RCA Victor and Columbia records who want to sign up the performers.

The interplay between Perkins, who first recorded Blue Suede Shoes, and Presley who also recorded the tune, and the interplay between Phillips and the stars who he had given their first breaks to becomes a fully developed drama. It all works out so wonderfully and musically that the fun and the music never stops.

Sam Weber as Brother Jay Perkins and Bligh Voth as Dyanne
Sam Weber as Brother Jay Perkins and Bligh Voth as Dyanne

Ari McKay Wilford stars as Elvis, Dominique Scott as Jerry Lee Lewis, John Michael Presney as Carl Perkins and Sky Seals as Johnny Cash. All are accomplished guitarists and singers and their impression of the Quartet is just amazing. Dominique Scott is outstanding as the loony Jerry Lewis Lewis and Wilford has Elvis spot on. Seals is great as Cash and Presney wonderful as Perkins. Bligh Voth plays Elvis’ girlfriend, who has talent and sings with the group.

For fans of 50s Rock n ‘Roll this is a must see production.

Elvis does “That’s All Right” and “Hound Dog.” Cash does “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk The Line.” Lewis does “Great Balls Of Fire.”

Perkins does “Blue Suede Shows” with Elvis, Johnny and Jerry Lee and there is so much more. A fun musical it is, with an unusual ending, which I will let you enjoy as a surprise.

Directed by Hunter Foster with musical direction by David Sonneborn. Associate producer Lisa Tiso.

 L to r: Dominique Scott as Jerry Lee Lewis, John Michael Presney as Carl Perkins, Ari Mckay Wilford as Elvis Presley, and Sky Seals as Johnny Cash.
L to r: Dominique Scott as Jerry Lee Lewis, John Michael Presney as Carl Perkins, Ari Mckay Wilford as Elvis Presley, and Sky Seals as Johnny Cash.

This is the 197th production by Westchester Broadway Theatre founders Bill Stutler and Bob Funking.

The show rates Four Stars Out of Four!!!!

Tickets at 914-592-2222 or broadwaytheatre.com.

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