After reading the Review-Journal’s glowing review of Million Dollar Quartet last week I was really excited to see it. This is our third show in the half season of the inaugural Broadway Series (see my posts about Mary Poppins and The Color Purple). We only have one more before the next season! It is an indulgence but I each time so far I’ve had a moment where it really sinks in that I’m getting to sit there and see multi-talented people sing, dance, and act their hearts out. This time was no different, there was a great energy to the performances and, whether and act or not, everyone on stage looked like they were having a fabulous time. I have a soft spot for the subject matter, a jam session with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis, because my first date with my husband was to see the Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon biopic Walk the Line (amazon affiliate link).
The concept of the show reminded me a little bit of the brilliant classic Henry Fonda film Twelve Angry Men (amazon affiliate link) where almost the whole story takes place in one room. You can read more about the actual day on which Million Dollar Quartet it based in this fascinating Wikipedia entry. All the actors play their own instruments so they go a level beyond impersonation and are musicians in their own right. I don’t know a lot of songs by the men aside from Cash but they were all pretty upbeat and toe-tapping. At the end they do an encore a little bit out of character but it is still fun and entertaining. My husband and I both remarked that we can’t see the Elvis swagger without thinking of the part in the movie Forest Gump (amazon affiliate link) where Forest meets Elvis. The idea is that these men are unified by their connection to the man that gave them their start so the story does some flashbacks to when they were all just starting out as well as the tension between sticking with your roots or going on to bigger things. Unlike a typical musical, the songs weren’t furthering the story, they were more of the soundtrack, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. There wasn’t an intermission which was surprising, I’m not sure what went into that decision.
At any rate, it was a lovely date. Before the show we did some exploring, finally getting around to making it to the fifth floor balcony where I snapped the above picture of Symphony Park (where the Smith Center is located). I loved that even the “up” and “down” indicators on the elevator’s exterior were in the shape of the Smith Center tower. You can see the parking in the distance, right now it bottlenecks at the exit but I hope when the parking garage is complete that will be remedied.
I can’t get over the beauty of the building, this is another view from the balcony, looking up to the tower. The silver was particularly bright in the 100+ degree heat we were having yesterday!