Enter the Showroom at Harrah's on the Las Vegas strip and enter a time capsule with me. We're going to back to December 4, 1956. The unbelievable happens. Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis. Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley all are at the Sun Records storefront studio in Memphis for the first - and only time.
They are in various stages of their careers. There's a bit of rivalry. They are showman, each wanting the center of attention, each wanting to be The Man. These are the early days - the days when preachers spoke from the pulpits decrying the dangers of rock n roll.
But these legendary performers knew better. They knew this was the future and they were going to be the stars. Within minutes, the audience is hearing Blue Suede Shoes, assuring us that this journey will take us where we want to go. We hear "Wild One" and a young Jerrry Lee Lewis is pounding the keys of the piano.
The set design feels right, the microphones are from then, not now. Carl Perkins sings "Blue Suede Shoes". Someone calls Elvis, “that hillbilly”. Johnny Cash, dressed all in black, gives us a little of Folsom Prison. We hear "Sixteen Tons", "Memories are Made of This." Many of us have some good memories to go with these songs.
Million Dollar Quartet is an excuse to play some of the best music of the 1950's. The plot line isn't that strong. Broken contracts and competition take a weak second place to the memorable music and the likeable performances. There's an in-joke here and there. Elvis has opened in Las Vegas for Shecky Greene and bombed. The people weren't ready for what he delivered. He announces, “ “I'll never play Vegas again.”
The show is about the artists and their music and you are treated to several songs with these great artists jamming. You'll hear "Peace in The Valley" and Johnny Cash doing "I Walk The Line."
This show walks the line between a full out Broadway show and a concert. But the music is authentic and is well presented. The beginning is slow, but the ending makes up for it. Take a trip back to the 50's if you want to visit the songs of those days.
In addition to the rock ' roll, there's gospel, R&B and country hits. This is the real thing. no canned music, no lip sync. The performers are top rate, saluting the stars they are playing. The mannerisms and nuances are there. Wow, Jerrry Lee Lewis can bang that piano, Elvis can swivel those hips.
And you can enjoy your trip back to 1956 in the Harrah's Showroom. For days, times and prices, contact the Harrah's Showroom hotline at 702 369 5111 or Ticketmaster. See the Million Dollar Quartet.
Photos by Erik Kabik