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Review: Million Dollar Quartet *****

Jo Turbitt reviews a production that 'hits every delicious note' in its depiction of some of rock music's greatest.

A rockin-rollin’ show which hits every delicious note of a fab night out!

Fans of the legends made at Sun Studios in Memphis need to get their tickets for this show; its energy is infectious, the music is fantastic and the cast are proof that quad-ripple threats are trained in the UK. They sing, they act, they groove and they play: boy do they play!

This is more than a tribute act to Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley; this is an endearing story, weaving legendary songs into a show about the famous photo of the fab four who didn’t ever record an album together. It’s a simple tale, tastefully done and truly celebrates the music: no frills, no unnecessary ‘showbiz’ parts—just revelling in the legends of rock’n’roll/ blues/ country music.

Jason Donovan heads up the cast as Sam Phillips, the man who saw potential gold dust in four young men, each with untapped talent, and made them stars in their own right. Donovan really suits this role, playing the encouraging father figure nurturing the talent of his Million Dollar boys. The four actor-musos not only sound but look like the lads, (this was a piece of excellent casting). Ross William Wild has Elvis down to a tee, lip curl and swingin’ hips and all. Matthew Wycliffe expertly brings Carl Perkins to life, Robbie Durham is an uncanny Johnny Cash and Martin Kaye plays a hot piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. Kaye’s energy and talent is unstoppable throughout the whole show, an incredible force of piano playing brilliance.

I visited Sun Studios in June this year; by the end of the show I had a tear in my eye, thinking back to the small studios on the corner of Union Avenue, small in size yet mighty in stature, exactly like the show. Million Dollar Quartet not only celebrates the four stars but also makes a big salute to Sam Phillips, the visionary who took a chance and in doing so made history. Thanks Mr Phillips. Truly thank you.

Million Dollar Quartet is at the Festival in Edinburgh until November 5 and at the Kings in Glasgow from November 14-19.

Tags: music

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