Fountain Hills Theater announces the opening of the musical Million Dollar Quartet.
On Dec. 4, 1956 a twist of fate brought together Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley.They were brought together in Memphis, Tennessee at the Sun Records storefront studio by Sam Philips, known as the ‘father of rock and roll’ and the man who had discovered them.This toe-tappin’, high energy musical imagines what that night might have been.
Around Christmas time in 1956, Carl Perkins was in a post-“Blue Suede Shoes” funk. He booked a recording session on Dec. 4th with producer Sam Phillips. Along with Jerry Lee Lewis, Perkins and his band recorded a number of songs including one of Perkins’ best-known records, “Matchbox.”. (The single was only a minor hit when Perkins recorded it, but later on when released by The Beatles in 1964, it reached the top 20 of the Billboard charts.)
Details from the rest of that day are still questioned, but this is what is known: Perkins and Lewis were later joined by Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, and the foursome held an impromptu jam session.A newspaper wrote, “This quartet could sell a million.” Shortly after they were known as “The Million Dollar Quartet.”
The session was a reunion for Cash, Perkins, and Presley, who had toured the South together in 1955. Lewis was still a star on the rise, but quickly bonded with Presley over their shared knowledge of spirituals. Cash’s presence is still debated by historians; some say that he was only there for a short time and quickly left. This seemed to be confirmed on season recordings, in which you can’t hear The Man in Black at all. However, in Cash’s autobiography, the country music legend attributes his relative absence on the recordings to the fact that he was singing in a higher register than usual to help blend better with Presley.
The recording session retains its historical significance as a landmark event in the age of Rock n’ Roll, and a milestone for the genre in the ever-changing world of the 20th century popular culture and mass media. In the decades that ensued, The Million Dollar Quartet in 1956 has often been referred to as the “Mount Rushmore of Rock n’ Roll.” Million Dollar Quartet captures the contagious spirit, freewheeling excitement, and thrilling sounds of the once-in-a-life-time event where four of music’s best talents came together.
Million Dollar Quartet is directed by Peter J. Hill, musically directed by Jay Melberg and choreographed by Noel Irick.Million Dollar Quartet stars Alex Bellanti-Diehl, Stephanie Elizabeth Clark, Adam Gobeski, CJ O’Hara and Tom Mangum.Band members are John Aranda, Stephan Hettinger and Dave Lopez. Million Dollar Quartet is presented through Special Arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.
Million Dollar Quartet will play Oct 15 – 31, 2021. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30PM and Sundays at 2PM. Individual tickets are $35.00 for Adults and $18.00 for Youth 17 and under. Seniors receive a $5.00 discount on all Thursday performances. Group and veteran discounts available. All performances are at Fountain Hills Theater on its Mainstage at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd. (The Corner of Saguaro and Rand). Tickets are available through the Theater Box Office at (480) 837-9661 x3 or by visiting fhtaz.org. Box Office Hours are 10:00AM-5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. For additional information not contained in this press release, please call Fountain Hills Theater Artistic Director, Peter J. Hill at (480) 837-9661 EXT. 7.