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Million Dollar Quartet comes to London

Written by admin on January 31, 2011 – 7:28 pm -

The Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet” is coming to London’s Noël Coward Theatre next month. The award-winning musical began life at Chicago’s Apollo Theatre in October 2008 and has been playing at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre since March 2010.

“Million Dollar Quartet” is based on the day in December 1956 when Elvis Presley dropped by Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee and jammed with Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.

Million Dollar Quartet - London

Those who are sticklers for historical accuracy might be disappointed by the musical, as it is very much a fictionalised account of what happened that day. A recording of the real event was thankfully made, but it does not feature Johnny Cash at all (although he was certainly at least there for the photo call), and there is more emphasis on gospel music than rock ‘n’ roll. The opposite is true of the musical, which features almost exclusively rock ‘n’ roll performances, including “Blue Suede Shoes”, “That’s All Right”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Hound Dog” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” None of those were really sung during the jam and the Jerry Lee numbers weren’t even recorded by him until the following year. Elvis’ girlfriend in the musical, Dyanne, who sing’s Peggy Lee’s “Fever” in the show, is also fictional. The real girlfriend was Marilyn Evans and she didn’t sing. So yes, you won’t get a history lesson if you watch this show, but that’s not the intention of course. It is designed to entertain through high energy rock ‘n’ roll performances and the positive reviews of the US version suggest it does achieve that.

“Million Dollar Quartet” stars Michael Malarkey as Elvis Presley, Ben Goddard as Jerry Lee Lewis, Derek Hagen as Johnny Cash, Robert Britton Lyons as Carl Perkins, Bill Ward as Sun Records boss Sam Phillips, and Francesca Jackson as Dyanne. Lyons starred in the original Broadway production.

Million Dollar Quartet opens at London’s Noël Coward Theatre (0844 482 5141) on February 28, 2011, with reduced price previews from February 8, 2011. Click here for Million Dollar Quartet ticket information.

A North American tour of “Million Dollar Quartet” is planned for October 2011.

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