The Tony Award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet features four legends and one night of a whole lot of rock ‘n’ roll through July 28 in the outdoor Solvang Festival Theater.
You’re invited to sit in on the greatest jam session in rock ‘n’ roll history. On Dec. 4, 1956, an extraordinary twist of fate brought four legends together - Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley.
That remarkable December night at Sun Records in Memphis is brought to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal, and celebrations that are both poignant and funny with an incredible score of rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B, and country smash hits, including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” and “Hound Dog.”
Director Kitty Balay said that this show will span generations in its appeal. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll concert. For some of our audience, it will be the melodies and rhythms of their youth combined with all of the excitement and nostalgia that music helps us relive. And for the people, including kids, who are experiencing this music for the first time, these amazing musicians and fantastic songs will give them the time of their lives. It’s going to be a cross-generational musical experience,” Balay said.
Balay directs along with Musical Director Christopher Wren, Scenic Designer Kent Homchick, Costume Designer Sara Curran Ice, Lighting Designer Tim Thistleton, Sound Designer Cricket S. Myers and Stage Manager Ellen Beckett. The cast includes Scott Fuss as Sam Phillips, Billy Rude* as Jerry Lew Lewis, Christopher Wren as Carl Perkins, Bill Scott Sheets* as Johnny Cash, Nick Voss as Elvis Presley, Charlotte Campbell as Dyanne, James Gallardo as Jay Perkins, and Robert Brandon as W.S. “Fluke” Holland.
Aside from an extraordinary collection of breakthrough rock ‘n’ roll classics, the story reveals how Sun Records owner/producer Sam Phillips helped some very “green” musicians find their true potential. Cash initially wanted to just sing gospel songs and Elvis came in mimicking Dean Martin. Phillips pushed them to find the unique voices that would transform them into the legends they became.
Million Dollar Quartet captures the contagious spirit, freewheeling excitement, and thrilling sounds of the once-in-a-lifetime event where four of music’s best talents came together. At the time of this jam session Presley and Lewis were 21 years old and Cash and Perkins were 24. They thought they were just making music. Instead, they were making history.
Kitty Balay said she needed to direct this show because, “It celebrates the making of music. The experience of jamming together, creating something live right there, and sharing it with each other, it’s a feeling you’ll never find in a recording.” The show gives the audience a unique perspective on these talented young men in their early 20s. We know they are going on to superstardom and destined to become icons of music, but the characters at this point don’t yet know it. “You really care about them and want to see how their conflict will be resolved. Then, when you add fantastic music to that… it’s magical!”
Visit the Million Dollar Quartet web page for more information www.pcpa.org/MillionDollarQuartet.html
Sponsored by the Melsheimer family, Jerry and Sharon Melson, Timothy J. and Colleen Staffel.