Perkins, Cash, Elvis, & Jerry Lee
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Tuesday was our 42nd anniversary. I took Rita to NYC to see The MillionDollar Quartet. It's the romanticized story of the legendary 1956 reunion night in Sam Phillip's Sun Records. Apparently it really happened and the tape's finally been made into an album of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis jamming in front of the live mics. The story goes that it was the evening when Cash and Perkins told Phillips they were not going to renew their contracts.
The story's a thin reed to showcase actually five featured musicians and two backup players. How good is it? They made Rita scream when they whipped the audience into leaping frenzy. This is Broadway where America's very best theatrical talent work. If these people want to ignite a frenzy over a floor sweep... that audience will frenzy.
The five principals: Levi Kreis (Jerry Lee), Robert Britton Lyons (Carl Perkins), Lance Guest (Johnny Cash), Elizabeth Stanley (a fictional PC correct female edition) - and to a lesser extent Eddie Clendening (Elvis) are more electric than their amplifiers. Imagine the best concert you've seen - but stage it by top broadway directors, producers, lighters, sound engineers, and designers. Put it into a relatively small theater where every sight line is perfect... And you will get a sense of this thing.
Some months ago we enjoyed Jersey Boys on Broadway. This is its equal. It does not matter whether you like or hate rock-a-billy music. The theatricality of all of this is designed to slam you breathless. In fact, the last quarter of the show happens as a reprise. At a certain point, they drop all pretense of a drama, turn the stage into a concert hall, face the audience, and crank up the energy level to 11.
It is full frontal Broadway. BTW, the audience seemed to be wildly intergenerational. We were not the oldest couple and way far from the youngest. Its worth a trip to NYC. And, oh yeah. I booked the entire trip (except for Amtrak) through Broadway.com. We stayed at the Times Square Hilton, ate at Maison, and got center section, second row mezzanine seats (my favorite place to watch) from the company which I've used before and will exclusively use again.
It was a wonderful anniversary. Don't wait for your 42nd... call Broadway.com now (an unpaid testimonial). :-)