“Million Dollar Quartet”: Memories are made of this


I had not been looking forward to “Million Dollar Quartet”. I thought that I would despise it. What I did not expect is that I would like it. But I did. In fact, I loved it. The story, the costumes, the actors, everything was amazing. The audience was mostly people who lived through the time period that the historical event this show was based on took place. This musical derived from an impromptu jam session between Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash on December 4, 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. “Million Dollar Quartet” was directed by Eric Schaeffer. It won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical and was nominated for other awards as well.

Martin Kaye played the role of Jerry Lee Lewis extremely well. His acting was full of enthusiasm and it seemed like he had boundless energy. Kaye was very expressive in his acting. He had an amazing voice. During “Great Balls of Fire” he added feeling of excitement to an otherwise sad scene. I would have prefered that the show was staged so that you could see Kaye’s face, since you hardly ever could. I did not like Lee Ferris as Carl Perkins. It felt like he was overpowering the production and trying to draw everyone’s attention to himself. In my opinion, he was far too extravagant. Ferris’ voice seemed off, I felt like there was something wrong with it. That being said, I did like the rivalry between Lewis and Perkins’ characters. It was dynamic, and added a depth to the characters that made it seem like they were actual people living their lives instead of people portraying someone who they are not. 

The actors looked surprisingly like the musicians that they portrayed. Tom Watson did a fantastic job of making the actor’s hair look like their real life counterparts. I especially liked the poofy wig for Jerry Lee Lewis. It looked very realistic and like the actual Jerry Lee’s hair. The actors did a great job of using makeup to make themselves look like the icons that they played. 

I did not like the set that they had for most of the show. The red textured walls along with the gilded moldings were distracting and the vivid colors outshone the period costumes. I did like the set that they used in the last few songs. The wall of spotlights did a nice job of accentuating the colorful jackets that the main actors wore in the last couple of numbers. Together they looked like four jewels in a sea of aquamarine. A fitting tribute to the “Million Dollar Quartet”.

On the opening night of “Million Dollar Quartet”, as part of the encore, W. S. “Fluke” Holland, who played the drums for the original Million Dollar Quartet in 1956, joined the cast. We were honored with a song where he played the drums. All in all, the show was an amazing performance, fit for people 14 years of age or older due to the many sexual jokes.