MDQ Director’s Notes
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET DIRECTOR’S NOTES
Written by Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti
Welcome to Paramount! Let’s blast off into Season Seven of our Broadway Series with the one, the only, Million Dollar Quartet! It’s not often you get to see a show based on an actual event and certainly not like this. On the night of December 4, 1956, in their early 20’s, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley made Rock ‘n’ Roll history. Sam Phillips, record producer, talent scout and founder of Sun Records, owned and operated Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, and with these born-poor, southern, country boys, created a new music that took hold of America and hasn’t let go since. You are about to see a behind-the-scenes, insider’s look at the business, hardships, egos and vulnerabilities that connected them to each other and the music that made their fortunes.
You’ll experience a spectacular, full-on jam session of their individual genius and their chart-topping sound, influenced by rockabilly, gospel, African-American spirituals and rhythm and blues.
This wild, exuberant blast-from-the-past holds poignancy and power as we take a look back at these young artists at the very start of their meteoric careers. In this depiction of the first and only time Sam and his boys were all together, Sam muses, “Then the guys go home, and I’m here by myself. I spin the tapes back and listen…and I think, ‘My god, this is where the soul of a man never dies.’” Rock on!