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Million Dollar Quartet is the story of rock ‘n roll

Sudbury Living Magazine September 28, 2017 Arts No Comments

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The electrifying musical Million Dollar Quartet, based on an iconic moment in music history, explodes onto the mainstage at Sudbury Theatre Centre Sept. 28 to Oct. 15, kicking off STC’s 46th season.

Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis walk into a Memphis recording studio. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but on December 4, 1956, it really happened.

Based on the greatest jam session in recording history, Million Dollar Quartet is inspired by this fateful recording session, which brought together then-rising star Johnny Cash, unknown Jerry Lee Lewis, veteran musician Carl Perkins, and chart-topper Elvis Presley at Sun Records for the first – and only – time.

Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, featuring a score of 21 classic hits including Blue Suede Shoes, Fever, That’s All Right, Sixteen Tons, Great Balls of Fire, Walk the Line, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Who Do You Love?, Matchbox, Folsom Prison Blues, Hound Dog, and more.

This lightning-paced musical flies by, running 90 minutes straight through without an intermission.

Calvin Laveck, Jesse MacMillan, Michael Vanhevel and Joshua Wiles make up STC’s Million Dollar Quartet. Laveck is Jerry Lee Lewis, the pioneering Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer and noted wild child; MacMillan is the affable outlaw Johnny Cash, whose star is on the rise; Vanhevel is a hip-shaking Elvis Presley who is climbing the charts and quickly becoming the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll; and Wiles is Carl Perkins, the King of Rockabilly and the brains behind “Blue Suede Shoes?, who is struggling to write his next hit, and bitter about Presley’s decision to cover his signature song so quickly.

The cast also includes Pieter Huyer as Fluke, Shruti Kothari as Dyanne, Jason O’Brien as Brother Jay, and Jonathan Patterson as Sam Phillips, the engaging record executive who discovered the talent of the four icons and helped launch their careers.

Million Dollar Quartet, written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, is produced in association with Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque and is directed by TIP Associate Director Rob Kempson.

The production team is rounded out by Music Director Jonathan Patterson, Set and Costume Designer Anna Treusch, Lighting Designer Louise Guinand, and Sound Designer Ben Malone. The Stage Manager is Erika Morey with Assistant Stage Manager Lori Anderson.

Oddly, the 1956 recording of the Million Dollar Quartet jam session was not released until 1981 in Europe. In 1990, the recording was released in the United States and is now revered as a seminal moment in rock ‘n roll history. The stage adaptation of Million Dollar Quartet opened on Broadway in 2010 followed by productions in Las Vegas, London’s West End, a U.S. National Tour, and across Canada.

Book your tickets online at SudburyTheatre.ca, call the DiBrina Box Office at 705-674-8381 or stop by in person at 170 Shaughnessy St. in downtown Sudbury.

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