Million Dollar Quartet
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Book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux
Show Times: Wednesday, May 31st
- Sunday, June 25th

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

Great Balls of Fire!  On December 4, 1956, an auspicious twist of fate brought together Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley at the Sun Records’ storefront recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee.  Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and more.

Established performer Carl Perkins was to record songs with a new performer, Jerry Lee Lewis. Elvis Presley stops by the studio with his girlfriend.  Johnny Cash has stopped by to talk to recording impresario Sam Philips. Soon one of the greatest jam sessions ever starts and rock ‘n’ roll is born!  Nominated for three 2010 Tony awards including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, Million Dollar Quartet captures the infectious spirit, freewheeling excitement, and thrilling sounds of a singular moment when four of popular music’s extraordinary talents came together for a once-in-a-life-time event.

This thrilling musical brings you inside that legendary recording studio with four major talents who came together as a red-hot rock ‘n’ roll band for one unforgettable night. Get your Blue Suede Shoes ready for this 1950’s rockin’ sensation!

Original Concept and Direction by Floyd Mutrux
Inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins

 

Additional matinee performances:  Saturday, June 10th at 2pm and Saturday, June 24th at 2pm

 

 

Joe Callahan* (Jerry Lee Lewis) was last seen as Jerry Lee in Fort Collins, Colorado.  It is truly an honor to play the Killer.  Nat’l Tour:  Ragtime. Other credits include:  Jesus Christ Superstar (The Arvada Center); Les Miserables, Peter Pan (Connecticut Repertory Theatre); South Pacific, Robin Hood, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Midtown Arts Center).  He has also performed internationally with The Unexpected Boys and on Holland America Line.  BFA Theatre (Western Carolina University).  Much love to Mom, Dad and Lisa Kay.  All glory to the Father.  Luke 2:14.

 

Eddie Clendening* (Elvis Presley) works as an entertainer. He hopes you find him entertaining.

 

 

 

 

Luke Darnell* (Carl Perkins)  A fourth-generation performer, Luke’s family legacy includes vaudeville, Broadway and film/TV. He is grateful to have performed alongside his mother, father, step-father, brother, and two aunts. Most recently, he played Mickey Deans in End Of The Rainbow at Music Theatre of CT, both Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash in the Las Vegas production of Million Dollar Quartet, and Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac Off-Broadway. Regional favorites: MDQ (Sam Phillips, Perkins) The Understudy (Jake), Othello (Roderigo), Oliver! (Bill Sykes), Ring Of Fire, many productions of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Film/TV credits include: Gotham, Ghost Whisperer, General Hospital, Alien Agent, Momsters. Luke is honored to tell this story and help keep this great music alive. www.LukeDarnell.com

 

Evan Buckley Harris* (Johnny Cash) portrayed the “Man in Black” in both the ’15-’16 National Tour and the Las Vegas companies of Million Dollar Quartet. He is very excited to join Ivoryton’s company and re-visit the role! Evan is based out of New York City. Thanks to Ivoryton Playhouse, Actors’ Equity Association, family, and friends. Rock N Roll!

 

 

 

Ben Hope* (Sam Phillips) is very excited to return to Ivoryton to pay tribute to one of American music’s most important producers. Hope made his Broadway debut in 2012 in the Tony Award winning musical Once. Ben developed an early passion for good music and story telling through his upbringing in Birmingham, AL. This passion has taken him around the world playing such notable musical greats as Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly, among other more traditional musical theatre roles. Hope has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida. Ben leads NYC-based Honky-Tonk band BEN HOPE & THE UPTOWN OUTFIT.  Learn more about Ben and the band on their Facebook page.  All of Ben’s music is available on iTunes and other digital music outlets.

 

Emily Mattheson (Dyanne)  is an NYC-based actor and voiceover artist and is very excited to be joining the Ivoryton team for this wonderful show!  Most recently, Emily was seen as Mrs Potts in the International tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  Other favorite roles include Joseph…(Narrator), Irving Berlin’s I Love a Piano (Sadie), and Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife).  As a VO artist, you can currently hear Emily as the voice of the new Subway restaurant campaign!  www.emilymattheson.com

 

Jamie Pittle (Fluke) is an actor/musician based in New York. Originally from Orlando, his recent credits include the Off-Broadway premiere of Missed Connections and regional productions of Million Dollar Quartet and The Buddy Holly Story. He has played in the College Light Opera Company, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and New York Fringe Festival. He has performed all over the world as a member of the showband on Carnival Cruise Lines.

 

Kroy Presley (Brother Jay) is excited to be joining Ivoryton Playhouse for their production of Million Dollar Quartet. His debut as Jay Perkins was at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head, SC summer of 2016.  He just recently completed his role as Jay Perkins at Georgia Ensemble Theatre, in Roswell, GA. Kroy began playing music at the age of 8 starting with piano then he discovered his passion for the electric bass. Eventually his musical journey lead him towards learning the upright bass. Kroy has traveled nationally and internationally with his music playing in some amazing places like Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and France. www.kroypresley.com

 

Director and Choreographer:  Sherry Lutken

Musical Director:  Erik Anthony

Stage Manager:  Theresa Stark*

Scenic Designer:  Martin Scott Marchitto

Lighting Designer:  Marcus Abbott

Sound Designer:  Tate R. Burmeister

Costume Designer:  Rebecca Welles

* member of Actors Equity

The Sun Sound began when Sam Phillips launched his record company in February of 1952. He named it Sun Records as a sign of his perpetual optimism: a new day and a new beginning. Sam rented a small space at 706 Union Avenue for his own all-purpose studio. The label was launched amid a growing number of independent labels. In a short while Sun gained the reputation throughout Memphis as a label that treated local artists with respect and honesty. Sam provided a non-critical, spontaneous environment that invited creativity and vision.

As a businessman, Phillips was patient and willing to listen to almost anyone who came in off the street to record. Memphis was a happy home to a diverse musical scene: gospel, blues, hillbilly, country, boogie, and western swing. Taking advantage of this range of talent, there were no style limitations at the label. In one form or another Sun recorded them all.

Then in 1954 Sam found Elvis Presley, an artist who could perform with the excitement, unpredictability and energy of a blues artist but could reach across regional, musical and racial barriers.

He helped form the beginnings of the Sun Sound by infusing Country music with R&B. Elvis’s bright star attracted even more ground-breaking talent to the Sun galaxy. Listed among his contemporaries and lab mates were Johnny Cash, the inimitable Jerry Lee Lewis, and the “Rockin’ Guitar Man”, Carl Perkins. These four soon became known as the Million Dollar Quartet. Right behind them came Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Bill Justis, Harold Jenkins (a.k.a. Conway Twitty) and other equally memorable musical talents. All eventually sold on Pop, R&B and Country charts and grew to international fame.

www.sunrecords.com

Join us for an opening night reception following the 8:00pm performance on Friday, June 2nd. Light refreshments will be served.

 

Check back here for press releases, photos and video clips!

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June 19, 2017

Original Broadway Elvis joins MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton – Eddie Clendening, who originated the role of Elvis in the Broadway production, and Evan Buckley Harris who portrayed Johnny Cash in the National Tour and Las Vegas companies, will both be joining the Ivoryton Playhouse production of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET for the final week of the run. Jacqueline Hubbard, Producing Artistic Director stated “We are sorry to see both John Rochette and Jeremy Sevelovitz leave our production. They are both stellar performers and unfortunately had conflicts for this final week. However, we are definitely looking forward to the new additions to the family. Even if you have already seen the show, you may want to come back and see it again with our new cast.”

The jukebox MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations featuring an eclectic score of rock, gospel, R&B and country hits including; “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more.

The Broadway production premiered at the Nederlander Theatre on April 11, 2010, with a cast featuring Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley, Lance Guest as Johnny Cash, Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Britton Lyons as Carl Perkins and Hunter Foster as Sam Phillips.  The musical transferred to New World Stages in July 2011 and closed on June 24, 2012. A US national tour and International productions followed.

The musical was nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. Levi Kreis won the award for Best Featured Actor for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis.

This production is directed by Sherry Lutken, who was last here in 2015 with STAND BY YOUR MAN: THE TAMMY WYNNETTE STORY; Eric Anthony is Musical Director; Set Design is by Martin Scott Marchitto and Lighting by Marcus Abbott. Costume Design is by Rebecca Welles

Our production stars: Luke Darnell* as Carl Perkins, Joe Callahan* as Jerry Lee Lewis, Ben Hope* as Sam Phillips, Jamie Pittle as Fluke, Emily Mattheson as Dyanne and Kroy Presley as Jay Perkins.

Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET runs through June 25th, 2017. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Press Release

May 11th, 2017

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On!
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton – What would happen if rock-n’-roll legends Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash all got together for one night only to give one of the most epic jam sessions the world has ever known? That’s what happens in MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, the Tony-winning musical that brings to life this legendary session that occurred on December 4, 1956 at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who was responsible for launching the careers of each icon, brought the four legendary musicians together at the Sun Records studio in Memphis for the first and only time. The resulting evening became known as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions in history.

The jam session consisted largely of snippets of gospel songs that the four artists had all grown up singing. The recordings show Elvis, the most nationally and internationally famous of the four at the time, to be the focal point of what was a casual, spur-of-the-moment gathering of four artists who would each go on to contribute greatly to the seismic shift in popular music in the late 1950s.

During the session, Phillips called a local newspaper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar and the following day, an article about the session appeared in the Press-Scimitar under the headline “Million Dollar Quartet”.

The jukebox MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott,
brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations featuring an eclectic score of rock, gospel, R&B and country hits including; “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more.

The Broadway production premiered at the Nederlander Theatre on April 11, 2010, with a cast featuring Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley, Lance Guest as Johnny Cash, Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Britton Lyons as Carl Perkins and Hunter Foster as Sam Phillips.  The musical transferred to New World Stages in July 2011 and closed on June 24, 2012. A US national tour and International productions followed.

The musical was nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. Levi Kreis won the award for Best Featured Actor for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis.

This production is directed by Sherry Lutken, who was last here in 2015 with STAND BY YOUR MAN: THE TAMMY WYNNETTE STORY; Eric Anthony is Musical Director; Set Design is by Martin Scott Marchitto and Lighting by Marcus Abbott. Costume Design is by Rebecca Welles

Our production stars: Luke Darnell* as Carl Perkins, Joe Callahan* as Jerry Lee Lewis, Jeremy Sevelovitz* as Johnny Cash, John Rochette* as Elvis Presley, Ben Hope* as Sam Phillips, Jamie Pittle as Fluke, Emily Mattheson as Dyanne and Kroy Presley as Jay Perkins.

Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on May 31st and runs through June 25th, 2017. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

ct-logo-2012_for_largeLooking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse has been voted best place to see live theatre by readers of The Shoreline Times for three years in a row. Come to Essex and visit our historic, professional theatre – a Connecticut treasure!

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Know

A newspaper man who was at Sun Records that fateful night wrote, “This quartet could sell a million.” Soon they were dubbed the Million Dollar Quartet. This was the four legends-to-be only performance together; a cultural flashpoint that captured the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and has come to be known as one of the greatest rock jam sessions of all time. The men played hymns like “Blessed Jesus (Hold My Hand),” “Peace in the Valley” and “Down by the Riverside” while Phillips rolled tape. They also played country classics, particularly a handful of songs by Bill Monroe, whose “Blue Moon of Kentucky” had already appeared on the B-side of Presley’s first single in 1954. The band also tackled hits of the day by Chuck Berry and Pat Boone.