March 8, 2012

A Date with Dad

Last night, I had the rare privilege of going on a solo date with my dad. Rare as in, I don't remember having ever done it before. I'm sure when I was living at home the two of us ran errands, ate take out and watched tv together . . . but I don't ever remember planning, getting ready and going out just the two of us.

But last night we had the incredible opportunity to attend opening night of The Million Dollar Quartet at the Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park. The Million Dollar Quartet is the story of how four rock'n'roll greats - Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins - all got together one night at Sun Records for an impromptu recording session.


I like musicals. My family has been going since I was little and there's only been one that we disliked so much we left. Usually, we thoroughly enjoy ourselves. 

I'm not sure I have ever enjoyed a musical as much as I did this one. It's an incredibly small cast and a basic set which simply highlights the amazing talent onstage. 

The story is written well and allows an entire decade of stories to be summarized in an engaging and captivating way, with great music throughout. Before the show begins, an announcer tells you that all of the instruments are actually being played on stage. In the beginning, this is hard to believe as Martin Kaye, the actor who performs as Jerry Lee Lewis tears up and down the piano keys as if he is Jerry Lee Lewis reborn.

Going into the show, my dad's favorite character was Elvis and mine was Johnny Cash . . . but we both agreed that Kaye's version of Jerry Lee Lewis absolutely steals the show! He is captivating, talented and hilarious - much as it seems the real life Jerry Lee Lewis was at this age.

After telling the story of this once in a lifetime meeting on December 4, 1956, the real picture of these legends is shown on a screen and a small clip of one of the actual songs recorded that evening is played. At this point, several people started filtering out of the auditorium, apparently assuming that the show was over. I feel sorry for those who left, because in my opinion they missed the best part of the show. 

Four blinged out jackets are lowered from the ceiling and the event morphs from a musical to a full fledged concert, complete with cat calls, swooning and a clapping, cheering audience who doesn't leave their feet. 

Since I'm too young to have ever really seen any of these performers in action, it was quite interesting to feel as if I was attending a concert with Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. They vamped, joked, seduced and sang as if they believed they truly were these legendary characters. The performance even ended with a tongue in cheek announcement that, "Ladies and Gentleman, Elvis has left the building."

My dad - who did live through this era - left the performance and repeatedly on the way to the car said, "Wow." "Wow." "Wow!" I had to giggle at him because I've never seen a reaction like that from him before, but this show was truly amazing - unlike any other musical I have ever attended. 

If you enjoy this era of music, this is one show you shouldn't miss!

"The Million Dollar Quartet" will run from now until Friday, March 16. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster. Or you can get discounted tickets for the less expensive seats using the promo code TRAVEL.  Prices start at $22.25.