I had the pleasure of being invited to see the new hit musical Million Dollar Quartet at the Noel Coward Theatre this week. I have been wanting to see it ever since the posters went up around London in January, so I jumped at the chance to see this jukebox show which is based on the impromptu jam and recording session between Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash on Tuesday December 4, 1956 at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
As soon as we were seated, I realised that it was going to be hard to sit still...the pre-show music was awesome, and I chuckled to myself, thinking that if Aaron was with me he probably would have dragged me into the aisles for a dance!
The stars in the show sing and play their instruments, live. They were all fantastic - the actor Michael Malarkey (what a cool name!) who played Elvis was extremely accurate both in sound and dance moves (complete with super stylin' outfit), Derek Hagen was not only a Johnny Cash sound-alike but also an uncanny look-alike, and Oliver Seymour-Marsh totally rocked out the rockabilly, Carl Perkins style. But mostly I was blown away by what a talented musician Ben Goddard, who played Jerry Lee Lewis, was. His fingers (and toes) were flying all over the keys - a very worthy portrayal and performance. Just brilliant!
This musical relies heavily on the jam session, rather than an actual story as such, so the whole show is set in the recording studio, apart from the finale, which is the flashy part featuring sparkly outfits and twinkling lights. I love the music, and they performed the hits so well that I was happy to sing along and didn't miss the genre's usual dance routines, costume changes and drama. Instead it was more like watching a gig featuring four top musicians that in reality we will never get to see perform together, but with a little suspended disbelief, felt like stepping back in time.