Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire! Jason Donovan is on his way to New Zealand in the cast of the award-winning, international hit musical Million Dollar Quartet.
Million Dollar Quartet is inspired by the incredible true events of December 4, 1956, when the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Sam Phillips, brought together four music giants – Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley – for one of the greatest impromptu recording sessions of all time. This high voltage, all-Americana, rock ‘n roll sensation plays at Auckland’s The Civic from 9 to 18 June.
On that fateful day in 1956, at Sun Record Studios in Memphis, studio owner and producer Phillips (Jason Donovan) scheduled a session for Carl Perkins to cut some new material following his recent hit Blue Suede Shoes. He called in a relatively unknown piano player named Jerry Lee Lewis to accompany Perkins. Former Sun artist Elvis Presley happened to drop in for an unannounced visit. Likewise, Johnny Cash, Sun’s best-selling artist at that time, swung by, too.
The four met and the conversation flowed. Then; the music. Luckily Sound Engineer Jack Clement thought to hit ‘Record’ and capture the 46 songs this soon-to-be-called “Million Dollar Quartet” threw together. Their jam session of old favorites, originals and familiar gospel songs became a milestone event in musical history.
The prophetic, real-life event inspired music historian and writer Colin Escott, and film writer and producer Floyd Mutrux, to create a book and stage version of what transpired that night. Since its debut in 2006, the musical version of Million Dollar Quartet has enjoyed hugely successful runs on Broadway, at London’s West End and tours of the USA and the UK.
The musical which inspired the upcoming US TV series, Sun Studios, comes to New Zealand direct from the UK, with a cast that comprises Ross Wild as Elvis Presley, Robbie Durham as Johnny Cash, Matt Wycliffe as Carl Perkins, Ashley Carruthers as Jerry Lee Lewis, Katie Ray playing Dyanne and Australian TV and music icon, Jason Donovan (Neighbours, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sweeney Todd) in the role of the legendary Sam Phillips.
With hits like Blue Suede Shoes, Great Balls of Fire, I Walk The Line, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Folsom Prison Blues and Hound Dog, Million Dollar Quartet, with its Super-55 mics, is a toe-tapping, thigh-slapping, rockin’ night out.
Million Dollar Quartet
June 9-18th: Civic Theatre, Auckland
Tickets via Ticketmaster
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