Liz on Theatre

Million Dollar Quartet

7060e3b49fa755925f5d_unspecified-7.jpeg
421bd30796508750821b_unspecified-13.jpeg
ce15824309dc0af6382f_unspecified-12.jpeg
5ca50236b44beedb0fc1_unspecified-11.jpeg
759a0f33850f1f6ed913_unspecified-10.jpeg
45bcb6b885838deaac18_unspecified-9.jpeg
1450d06eacecfffa303e_unspecified-8.jpeg
7060e3b49fa755925f5d_unspecified-7.jpeg

‘Million Dollar Quartet’ strums and thrums with nostalgia, manic beat

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – There really was a meeting of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins on Dec. 4, 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis.   Record producer Sam Phillips took a picture to prove it.

Sign Up for E-News

That is the premise of the rock and roll musical, now at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. The cast is super, especially Nat Zegree as Lewis and Scott Moreau as Cash. Zegree is all over the small upright piano as he manages to play no matter what position he’s in. You can see he’s an ultra high energy guy when he just can’t sit still. Zegree was in “Dear Evan Hansen” at Arena Stage in Washington and directs shows at 54 Below, Birdland and Joe’s Pub, among others.  His “Rockin' Robin” takes off like gangbusters..

Moreau made a Johnny Cash tribute album and has reprised this role from the national tour. He also performed “Johnny Guitar: The Musical” at Cortland Rep.  Moreau reflects the huskiness and dark presence of this timeless singer. When he delivers “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line” and other hits, you’re transported right back to those days.

The same can be said for Alex Boniello as Elvis Presley.  “Hound Dog” and “Memories are Made of This” capture his rise to fame as well as references to his Hollywood movies. When he describes his initial reception in Las Vegas, he says, “I’ll never play Vegas again.”  Presley is a tough role to fill, with so many impersonators over the years.

James Barry plays Carl Perkins, who reminds the others that he recorded “Blue Suede Shoes” before Elvis took it over. It seems Perkins was on his way to appear on the Perry Como show, but was in a car accident. Then Elvis sang it on the Ed Sullivan Show and suddenly the song belonged to him.

So there are clashes, letdowns and deceptions during this reunion in Memphis. Jason Loughlin as Sam Phillips is terrific – believable in his fighting the big recording companies like RCA and Columbia. He clearly has a knack for spotting talent and knows how to nurture it as well. .  

Bligh Voth is Dyanne, the girlfriend Elvis brings along to this gather. She knows how to put a song across. Her rendition of “Fever,” which Peggy Lee made famous, is terrific and she follows that up with “I Hear You Knockin’.”   Voth also displays a tender, humane quality  that helps to center the action and subdue some of the antics.

Sam Weber as Brother Jay has a mean way with a bass viol, often treating it like a guitar. David Sonneborn as Fluke adds more background music with drums and various instruments. The entire play moves like fireworks and the final number is tremendous when they all come out in sparkling tuxedo jackets and sing those final, unforgettable numbers.

The audience was having a grand old time on opening night and that is sure to continue during the run of “Million Dollar Quartet.” The musical continues through April 23. For tickets, call 973-376-4343 or visit PaperMill.org.

 

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Union

Union Rec to Host Instructional Co-Ed Basketball Clinic

July 15, 2018

UNION, NJ - The Union Recreation Department will host an instructional, co-ed basketball clinic Wednesday, Aug. 15 and Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Davis Park, 940 Arcadia Place.

The clinic, featuring fun drills and games, will run from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. for participants in third- through fifth-grade and 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Participants must be Union ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:t

Monday, 7/09

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Let's Create: Perler Parlor, 1:00 p.m., Union Public Library
Adult Prize Bingo, 2:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 5:30 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Beatles: The BeAginnings, 6:30 ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_0b9179e7cb54922e3899_firstbaptistchurchvauxhall_flyer2

Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

First Baptist Church of Vauxhall, Vauxhall

Free Diabetes Self-Management Workshop Series

Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_55e8333f0dbeea0f9179_tai_chi

Tue, July 17, 12:30 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, union

Tai Chi - Free Exercise Program For Mature Adults

Carousel_image_18ca5bfad257fda345cc_mini_magick20180712-3649-mf1pbl

Tue, July 17, 2:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Tuesday at 2 Movie: "Beauty and the Beast"

Carousel_image_1745e208dced874ffd8b_e6e6158b48ac79ad3add_chair_yoga__1_

Wed, July 18, 10:15 AM

Union Public Library, Union

Chair Yoga in the Library

Union's Mayor Talks About Streetscapes

The Township Committee and I are excited to announce that the second phase of the Streetscape Project has begun.  After the successful completion of phase one that yielded great results, we have already seen an increase in foot traffic, which is essential in jump-starting Union Center and bringing in the higher caliber retailers that residents are looking for in the Center.

Following the ...

Stacy Fortes of Union Graduates from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child

July 5, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ,  — Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child held its 90th commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 10, on its 11-acre campus in Summit. The 63 graduates kept with school tradition and donned white gowns and gloves, and carried pink roses.

Union graduate Stacy Fortes will be attending Kean University in the fall.

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child is a ...

Roselle Man Charged in Animal Cruelty Case      

July 11, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month has been charged with more than 30 criminal offenses, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal ...

Rahway Mayor Giacobbe to Attend Grand Opening of First Wawa Store in Rahway; Free Coffee Offered Through July 16

RAHWAY, NJ - Rahway Mayor Raymond A. Giacobbe will be on hand to cut the ribbon at 10 a.m. Thursday. July 12, for the new Wawa store's grand opening at 280 St. Georges Avenue in Rahway.

The 24-hour Wawa store will officially open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, with the grand opening ceremonies to follow. Free coffee will be offered at the store through July 16. Wally Goose, the ...

Former Linden Police Chief to be Appointed as Union County Undersheriff

LINDEN, NJ - Former Linden Police Chief Jonathan Parham is set to be sworn in as a Union County Undersheriff, this Friday.

As a member of the Linden Police Department for nearly 25 years, Parham has served in each rank from Officer to Captain before his promotion to Chief in September of 2016. 

During his first month as Chief, Parham along with other Linden Police ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

July 14, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

15th Annual Maplewoodstock is this Weekend: July 14 and July 15

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The 15th Annual Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival, a free, two-day, live music and arts event, will be held this Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, from noon until 10 p.m. each day in Memorial Park.   

The 23 bands performing were selected from a record-high 109 applicants in 2018, who radiate from Maplewood/South Orange to other musical ...

Video: Mail Truck Careens into Warinanco Park Pond

ELIZABETH/ROSELLE/LINDEN, NJ - Police, Fire, and Rescue units responded to a U.S. Mail truck that drove head-on into the pond in Warinanco Park on Thursday afternoon. 

Sometime after 2 p.m. responders were called to the scene to find the mail truck in the water. A park worker said that while he did not see the truck go into the water, he did arrive just in time to see who he believed to ...

Springfield's Meisel Field Turf Project Almost Complete

SPRINGFIELD, N.J.- Over the last several weeks, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have started construction on a new turf surface at Meisel Field. Freeholder Bruce Bergen talked with TAPinto and answered questions about the project.

In a phone interview, Bergen, who is also a Springfield resident said that the decision to turf the field came as part of a larger plan to turf multiple ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 17, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Award-Winning Senior Art Exhibited at Freeholders Gallery

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present a new exhibit of award winning artworks by local artists age 60 and up, now on display at the Freeholders Gallery through August 29. Each of the 13 works received first place honors in the countywide Senior Art Exhibit held earlier this summer in the Atrium at Liberty Hall in Union Township.

“Each in their own unique way, ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1 taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series is presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

“We look forward to seeing everyone at Echo Lake Park ...

FLEEK Program Provides a Summer of Art and STEM for Union County Students 

Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholder Angela R. Garretson visited students and teachers at the Future Leaders Excelling in Entrepreneurship and Knowledge (F.L.E.E.K) Summer Youth Enrichment Program at The Patrick School in Hillside earlier this week. They were joined by Nathalie Hernandez, the Coordinator of the Union County Office of Community Engagement & ...

Columns

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)

 

Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

What Union is Reading: Month ending June 2018

July 6, 2018

It is summertime and a great time to get in some reading! Many great new books have topped the list in June. The top circulating print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in June 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category; download the app today and start borrowing books from home to read or listen on your phone or tablet at the ...

Body Pulled From Delaware River

July 9, 2018

KINGWOOD, NJ – First responders were on the scene at the Delaware River and pulling the body of a man from the water Friday.

“The worst has happened,” said Greg Crance, who owns Delaware River Tubing, a popular nearby tubing, rafting, kayaking  and canoeing outfitter on the river.

However, the victim is not one of his customers, Crance said.

The body was ...

Letters to the Editor

Letter to Residents of the 20th Legislative District

July 3, 2018

To the editor,

When I decided to run for state Senate, I committed to make the residents of the 20th Legislative District my top priority in Trenton.  I am proud of the FY 2019 budget and believe it is the product of a pledge I made to my constituents.  This budget is a reflection of how hard I have been working to increase funding for our schools, our municipalities and our ...