December 4, 1956. A day that went down in musical history. The day musical legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis met and recorded music together for the first and only time. Based on the actual event, Million Dollar Quartet does a wonderful job taking a seemingly "plotless" story and turning it into something fun with fantastic music, even making it a little dramatic. The owner of Sun Records, Sam Phillips, played by Christopher Ryan Grant, has some shenanigans in the works. He plans to bring all "his boys" together for a celebration of sorts for Johnny Cash signing with the company for another three years. Needless to say, things don't quite go as planned.
The stage opens with a simple set of a recording studio cut in half. The walls covered in burgendy soundproofing, the crown molding was intricate and golden. Riddled with guitars, microphones, a bass, a drum set, and a piano-it was picturesque. Any change in scenery was indicated by lighting rather than a set change which worked out perfectly since they never left the studio except to smoke a cigarette outside.
The music in it of its self was amazing, which is to be expected of a show about four brilliant musicians. They even played their instruments live which I really found to be an added bonus. They played hits such as "Blue Suede Shoes", "Matchbox", and "Great Balls of Fire" and they didn't disappoint. Sure it was no real Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins or Jerry Lee Lewis but hey it's the closest I'll ever get and this is a pretty solid compromise.
By the end of the show I was in love, even more so by the ending number where each man, dressed in a colour coordinated and bedazzled suit jacket, played a final number before leaving the stage. We even had our selves a special guest, Johnny Cash's drum player who shared some lovely stories and was just a generally adorable old man.
Part history lesson, part concert, part musical. Million Dollar Quartet is nothing that I expected and the only possible complaint I could have was that it wasn't nearly long enough. But be forewarned, if you don't have good taste in music, don't see this show.