Are you a big early rock’n’roll fan? The cast of the smash hit Million Dollar Quartet will be performing a free concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. Chicago’s beloved musical was inspired by the famed 1956 recording session that brought together legendary rock ‘n’ roll icons Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley.
The hour-long performance in Millenium Park will feature classic, crowd-pleasing rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits from the musical, including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” and “Ghost Riders,” among others. Featuring a treasure trove of the greatest songs ever recorded, the show “Million Dollar Quartet” captures the infectious spirit, freewheeling excitement and thrilling sounds of a singular moment when four of the music industry’s most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history.
The background on the historical meeting that took place on December 4, 1956, is that an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together. The place was Sun Records’ storefront studio in Memphis. The four legends-to-be united at Sam Phillips behest for the only time in their careers for an impromptu recording that has come to be known as one of the greatest rock jam sessions of all time.
The Chicago production stars Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley, Lance Guest as Johnny Cash; Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis; and Rob Lyons as Carl Perkins. Chicago-based actress Kelly Lamont plays Elvis’ girlfriend Dyanne and Chicago’s own Brian McCaskill plays the “father of rock and roll” Sam Phillips. Billy Shaffer (drums) plays the role of Fluke and Chuck Zayas (bass) plays Jay Perkins.
The Million Dollar Quartet show is at the Apollo Theatre and tickets are currently on sale and available through the Apollo Theater box office, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave, (773) 935-6100. Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for the regular run are $25-$64.50. Rush student tickets are available for $20.
Millennium Park, managed and programmed by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design. The result of a unique partnership between the City of Chicago and the philanthropic community, the 24.5-acre park features the work of world-renowned architects, planners, artists and designers. Among Millennium Park’s prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States; the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie garden designed by the team of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor’s hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture. Since its opening in July 2004, Millennium Park has welcomed more than 16 million of people, making it one of the most popular destinations in Chicago.
For more information about Millennium Park, call 312.742.1168 or visit www.millenniumpark.org.