Theater Review: ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ honors the greatest rock and roll legends

Left to right, Eric Morris (Jerry Lee Lewis), Matt Tatone (Carl Perkins), Frank Joseph Moran (Elvis Presley), and Eric Sargent (Johnny Cash), from the Old Log Theatre’s production “Million Dollar Quartet,” recreate a famous photo from Dec. 4, 1956. (Photo courtesy of the Old Log Theatre) Left to right, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash on Dec. 4, 1956. (Photo courtesy of the Old Log Theatre)
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Left to right, Eric Morris (Jerry Lee Lewis), Matt Tatone (Carl Perkins), Frank Joseph Moran (Elvis Presley), and Eric Sargent (Johnny Cash), from the Old Log Theatre’s production “Million Dollar Quartet,” recreate a famous photo from Dec. 4, 1956. (Photo courtesy of the Old Log Theatre)

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The Old Log Theatre’s summer hit jukebox musical “Million Dollar Quartet,” playing now through Jan. 21, pays tribute to the greatest rock and roll legends through an ultimate jam session.

“Million Dollar Quartet” is directed by R. Kent Knutson and musically directed by Kyle Picha. The Tony award winning musical is set on Dec. 4, 1956, when an extraordinary twist of fate brought Johnny Cash (Eric Sargent), Jerry Lee Lewis (Eric Morris), Carl Perkins (Matt Tatone), and Elvis Presley (Frank Joseph Moran) together at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.

The legendary quartet was brought together by Sun Records’ founder and the “father of rock ‘n’ roll,” Sam Phillips (Paul Rutledge). Phillips, who was responsible for launching the careers of each of these superstars, brought the four legendary musicians together for the first and only time. The resulting evening became known as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions in history.

The musical “Million Dollar Quartet” features some of the most infamous songs including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Walk the Line,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more. These songs make up the most ultimate track list of the greatest era of rock ‘n’ roll. The musical features an incredible score of rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits, performed by amazing actors and musicians.

Each of the actors honor their historical counterpart with class, dedication, charisma and an eerie resemblance. Moran has the moves as Elvis Presley, Sargent shines as he brings Johnny Cash’s classic music to life, Tatone brings out Carl Perkins’ rebellious side and Morris outshines the rest of the quartet as the humorous and lively Jerry Lee Lewis.

“Million Dollar Quartet” is a harmonious joy but the story itself falls flat leading to the musical dragging on one hit too many. Any musical aficionado though who respects the talent of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash will be inspired by this amazing rendition and will dance in their seats.

“Million Dollar Quarter” runs through Jan. 21. Performances times are Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

For more information visit oldlog.com or call 952-474-5951 or 866-653-5641.

The Old Log Theatre is located at 5185 Meadville Street, Greenwood.

Contact Paige Kieffer at [email protected]