Million Dollar Quartet, which is opening at the Nederlander Theater on Broadway on April 11, 2010, tells the story of the recording session on December 4, 1956 of four young musicians — Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.
It was not easy to cast the four main characters. The show needed performers who not only could act and reasonably resemble their real-life counterparts but were also singers and musicians who could play their own instruments.
They found their cast elsewhere. But then the cast members used YouTube to research their characters!
That didn’t always help. Eddie Clendening, playing Elvis, discovered that there is only about a half an hour of footage of him from 1954 until he started starring in movies. That’s not the only challenge he faced. “My pants kept splitting.”
Since Youtube played such a large role in the development of Million Dollar Quarter, why not go full circle and present two numbers from the show.
Here is the cast, led by Rob Lyons as Carl Perkins, in a number from the show, “See You Later Alligator”:
Levi Kreis plays Jerry Lee Lewis. “It’s the perfect outlet for someone someone who grew up reading the Bible and praying and winning Christian Character awards,” he joked. At the same time, he said, Jerry Lee Lewis’s music was “one of hte first things I ever heard” — and played. “I was playing Great Balls of Fire at family reunions.” Here he is leading “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”
It is still playing Chicago, where it started almost two years ago.