Western Canada Theatre brings rock legends to life

WCT dazzles audiences with rock sounds of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins

Million Dollar Quartet dazzles audiences with high energy performances of well-known hits (Barbara Zimonick/WCT)

Western Canada Theatre kicked off the first weekend of their much anticipated show, Million Dollar Quartet with a bang. The play was written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and directed by Western Canada Theatre’s artistic director James MacDonald.

An energetic, captivating musical, Quartet features the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. This production transports the audience back to the beginning of the rock and roll age as we know it today.

The show follows the narration of Sun Records producer and father of rock and roll Sam Phillips, the creator of these musical legends. Julien Arnold portrays Sam Phillips in his strong-willed, big idea-ed and idealistic demeanor – a man that wanted to create authentic musical stars.

The audience was treated to a powerful and vibrant live musical production. The actors performed a brilliant tribute to the forefathers of American rock and roll and honour the musicians to their greatest capacity.

Phillip’s narration gives the audience an origin story and the start at Sun Records with all four of the young stars. At the time of the recording of the Million Dollar Quartet, a real life portrayal in the production, these men were at the beginnings of their careers. Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash had become well-known, yet were still young and fresh in their careers.  Carl

Elliott Loran brings Jerry Lee Lewis to life with a cartoon-like depiction (Barbara Zimonick/WCT

Perkins had a taste of fame but was struggling to create the next big hit to sky-rocket his success. Jerry Lee Lewis was virtually unknown and doing everything he could to be noticed and taken serious in his energetic and eccentric style.

Million Dollar Quartet is full of hilarious one-liners and puns. The actors often break the fourth wall, that of recognizing and involving the audience. As well as the light storyline of great music there is an undertone of tension between Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley caused by the success Presley had with Blue Suede Shoes; a song written by Perkins.

The show featured many recognizable hits by all the men and is set up as a jam session with these musical legends. Million Dollar Quartet will delight those of any age and musical knowledge. The young and not-so-young all showed up to take in the hits and have a great time.

Million Dollar Quartet will play at the Sagebrush Theatre until Oct. 21. Tickets are on sale at the Kamloops Live! Box Office.