Million Dollar Quartet relates the story of one day in 1956 when Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins all jammed together "for the first and only time," according to the show's Web site. The show features a book by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, and interpolates popular period songs, including "Great Balls of Fire," "See You Later Alligator," "Fever," and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On."
Will Million Dollar Quartet be the next Jersey Boys or the next All Shook Up? To be honest, I'm finding it really hard to care. I can't imagine a musical I'd be less interested in seeing, except perhaps Pure Country. Yeah, I'm not that big on rock 'n roll, country music, or their derivatives. Of course, I'll see the show. I like to see everything. But, to paraphrase Frank N. Furter, I'm not exactly shivering with anticipation.
Plus, the commercial resume for the show's co-director, one Eric Schaeffer, isn't particularly encouraging. Yes, Schaeffer is the artistic director of the respected Signature Theater. But his Broadway outings thus far have comprised Putting it Together and Glory Days . "Ick" and "Youch," respectively. He also directed the first national tour of Big, and the London premier of The Witches of Eastwick. So you'll forgive me if I'm skeptical.
But, getting back to the topic of Brighton Beach Memoirs, I've been lying pretty low on this topic, partly because my interests lie primarily in musical theater, but also because so many of my blogger peeps seemed to be in mourning, and I didn't want to salt their wounds. But I have been bristling at all the journalistic hand-wringing, particularly by Howard Kissel of the New York Daily News. Kissel uses the failure of BBM to bemoan the death of "the Broadway Audience," whatever that means.
I'm sorry, but I really don't see any larger implications for the closure of BBM, beyond the fact that the producers chose to do a show that few people apparently wanted to see. Yes, I'm sure poor marketing and insufficient finance had something to do with it. But all the sturm und drang I keep hearing about the death of straight plays (at least those without stars above the title) and the growing irrelevance of Neil Simon and whatnot is pretty much crap.