Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended
"...The new commercial musical “Million Dollar Quartet” contains virtuosic performances. The kind of jaw-dropping turns that snap your head to the stage and unlock your feet from the floor."
Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended
"...The show comes with a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux (co-director with Eric Schaeffer) that is little more than the standard connect-the-dots, supply-the-back-story string of cliches. But it gets the job done, and who wants to listen to dialogue when the only real story here is the music -- two dozen rock and roots classics performed with rip-roaring virtuosity by sensational performers who (unlike the actors in "Jersey Boys") not only sing but are also ace instrumentalists."
Daily Herald - Highly Recommended
"...A combination concert, history lesson and homage to the musicians and their visionary producer, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, "Million Dollar Quartet" is the most exuberant theatrical event I've experienced all year. A jukebox musical in the best and purest sense of the word, it persuades even those disinclined to the genre (I include myself among them) that in the right hands, this format has merit."
Examiner - Recommended
"...As for the recording session that comprises “Million Dollar Quartet,” it’s an ultra-high energy 90-minute jam. This is an ensemble work, but Lance Guest’s Johnny Cash is its heart and soul. With a baritone that seems to reach into his soul, Guest is simply haunting as Cash. Equally fine in a less substantive role is Levi Kreis’ manic Lewis. A virtuoso in ratty sneakers and fashion-don’t dungarees, he stops the show more than once, at one point kicking the piano bench offstage and then playing backwards – facing away from the keyboard and finding the right notes through nothing more than intuition and sheer joy."
Read Full Review
Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended
"...Eddie Clendening and Lance Guest offer credible impersonations of Presley and Cash, but Levi Kreis as Lewis and Rob Lyons as Perkins better convey their characters’ fiery personalities and electrifying artistry. Kelly Lamont shines as Presley’s singer girlfriend, and Brian McCaskill gives the show its emotional center as Phillips, a man caught between competing personal and business pressures."
NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended
"...while the source material is cultural gold, the challenge is in the casting, and here the producers have done an outstanding job. Not only do Eddie Clendening, Levi Kreis, Lance Guest and Robert Lyons sound like, respectively, Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny and Carl, but the physical impersonations in both appearance and mannerisms are quite strong. Kreis’ Lewis is especially crowd-pleasing in his insane antics behind, and all over, the keys."
Windy City Times - Highly Recommended
"...It's hard work portraying icons, making for replacements in the ensemble currently playing at Lincoln Park's Apollo Theater where Million Dollar Quartet has run continuously for nearly four years. Gabe Bowling's Perkins is a little cleaner-cut than previous incarnations, and James Scheider's Lewis more physically subdued, but Sean Sullivan's Cash displays a commanding presence (and astonishing vocal range), Brandon Bennett's Presley reflects the singer not yet enslaved to greedheads, and Heather Marie Marsden, in the easily dismissed role of kibitzing Dyanne, breaks with sex-kitten mannerisms to deliver a rafter-raising "Hear You Knocking." Who says a history lesson can't rock the room?"
Read Full Review
Chicago Free Press - Highly Recommended
"...Sure, “Quartet” is also thin on drama, and the integration between book and song isn’t seamless. But it’s got something going for it besides the astonishingly accomplished musicality: Its loosely-based-on-true-life tale doesn’t try to encapsulate decades of biography, but (mostly) sticks to a simple unity of place and time: Memphis, December 4, 1956. It’s also smart enough not to break momentum for an intermission, instead treating its audience a continuous roller coaster of smoking-hot rock ‘n’ roll that zooms up, down, around and through the Apollo Theater—which explains why this hit show keeps extending its run."
Read Full Review
Talkin Broadway - Recommended
"...Million Dollar Quartet makes for a fun evening, but you wonder if this piece, made for a small house seating hundreds, will be enough to meet Broadway expectations and seem right-sized for the 1,200 seat Nederlander in New York. Maybe Adam Koch's realistic set of the Sun Records recording studio will be expanded to fill the Broadway stage. Eric Schaeffer, who co-directed the piece with Mutrux, has had that challenge before, so we'll see what he comes up with. If Broadway's Memphis, another musical about the birth of rock 'n' roll in Tennessee's River City, is still running next Spring, the two musicals could make good companion pieces for a short course in the topic."
Read Full Review
EpochTimes - Highly Recommended
"...The trip from the Goodman Theatre to the Apollo Theater has not hurt "Million Dollar Quartet" at all. In fact, the smaller venue bringing the audience much closer to the action, almost makes you feel that you were at Sun Studios on that special day in 1956 (12/4)when Rock n" Roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and youngster Jerry Lee Lewis had a special recording session. The production is for the most part identical to that of the Goodman, but the Apollo is a more intimate spot where the audience is closer, the sound a little better and the same talented cast just makes you want to clap your hands and stamp your feet to some of the greatest hits of that era..."
Copley News Service - Highly Recommended
"...At first look, “Million Dollar Quartet” seems like still another of those compilation jukebox musicals that have swamped the Chicagoland theater scene in recent weeks. It just shows that one should never prejudge. “Million Dollar Quartet” turns out to be the best live rock ‘n’ roll show I have ever seen."
Edge - Highly Recommended
"...Brian McCaskill is appropriately and contradictorily dour and enthusiastic in the roll of Sam Phillips. The character’s own "straightness" of personality seems to be the gift-giving element he utilized to help other, similar characters, find their own voices. Phillips lacks his own voice, in a sense, and McCaskill represents this nicely."
Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended
"...Seldom does a show explode right out of the gate with such an exciting musical number as the opening of Million Dollar Quartet! As much, if not more, a classic rock and roll concert of the first order, this dazzling show is a guaranteed delight for anyone who loves good music delivered by gifted performers. From the opening of Blue Suede Shoes to the Whole Lotta Shakin’ finale, Million Dollar Quartet delivers, with electrifying talent and charm, the characters and music that made rock and roll an archetypal part of the America psyche."
Read Full Review
Time Out Chicago - Recommended
"...Written without much condescending narration—and mostly as a love letter to unsung label founder Sam Phillips, the CEO of cracker soul—Quartet puts its authentic rock music front and center. In this acoustically expert re-creation, the four professional musicians channel their respective forebears with a spiritual medium’s accuracy, especially reckless Kreis’s Jerry Lee Lewis, who’s frankly so dead-on it’s ridiculous."
Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended
"...When the quartet plays, they forget about contracts and television appearances and just live in the music. That release is rock n’ roll, and Million Dollar Quartet is a fitting tribute to its early years that shouldn’t be missed."
ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended
"...Million Dollar Quartet has a truthful book as well as outstanding arrangements (Chuck Mead) of early classic rock, country and traditional songs of the 1950’s. The real stars of this show are the dynamic music and the sheer musicianship of the six performers. This exhilarating show is a ‘must see’ event. It is pure energy. I’m betting this show will have a long run in Chicago."
Read Full Review