Letter: Million Dollar Quartet is unforgettable

The place rocked. The place rolled. The Million Dollar Quartet threw themselves into it with all the verve and audacity of musicians-to-the-bone and at the end, the audience sprang to its feet, not in a cursory standing ovation, but in a rip-roaring “Man, you moved us!” tribute.

It was another successful rendition of the classic one-time only jam session in 1956 of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash — all under the tutelage of Sam Phillips (Sean McCall), a human divining rod for embryonic talent in Memphis, Tenn., who ran the disheveled Sun Records Studio.

It’s all luckily brought to the stage of The Old Creamery Theatre in Amana.

In Quartet, the piano met its master with the finger-flying skills of Marek Sapieyevski (Lewis). The audience was rapt with the beating, soul-reaching thrum of Nathan Burke’s guitar (Burke/Carl Perkins); the perfect gyrations of Morgan McDowell, imitating those of Presley, who once sent young girls into shrill ecstasy in the 1950s/1960s. It applauded the head-tossing Todd Meredith (Johnny Cash), the Deep Throat of the musical world. Jody Alan Lee as Brother Jay played bass in a great hushed rumble.

Viewers watched enviously as the lissome, languid Emily Seibert (Dyanne, Elvis’ girlfriend) belted out “Fevah” in that voice of maple-syrup-turned-to-an-oncoming locomotive.

These actors are all professionals and they delivered — big time. To say attending the Million Dollar Quartet was enjoyable seems like such an anemic description of this rousing experience. It’s unforgettable.

Shirley Ruedy

Cedar Rapids

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