Bakersfield's a good spot if you want to enjoy a concert or take in a theatrical production. But it's not every day you can head out to a show that feels like a rock concert. That's where Ovation Theatre comes in with its season closer, "Million Dollar Quartet."
Director Adam Cline said this show — about the famed impromptu jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash — was a great way to close the 19th Street theater's inaugural season.
"We wanted to do something to show Bakersfield that there is some amazing talent in this town and when you see this you will understand why I say that," he wrote in an email. "None of these guys have been in a theatrical play of this magnitude."
Starring as the musical's foursome are Joey Boone as Cash, James O’Hearn as Lewis, Jeff Ardray as Perkins and Dominic Demay as Presley. The show also features Jessica Ardray as Dyanne, Presley's girlfriend and a singer who belts out tunes like "Fever" and "I Hear You Knocking"; and Timothy Adamson as Sam Phillips, label owner of Sun Records, where the recording took place.
"It bring us back to each of these iconic rock 'n' roll legends' beginnings, before they took the big stage and were just discovering themselves," Cline wrote. "You will learn a little history of how and when each player became successful."
Cline, whose last show at Ovation was "Gypsy" in October, said he's sure this show will knock the socks off Bakersfield feet.
He wrote, "Real live musicians, playing, singing, and acting these iconic roles! It will be hands down the best entertainment this town has seen in awhile."
Along with the actors, "Quartet" features a band on stage: guitarist Nick Gonzalez, drummer Jeff Ingle and Ray Sadolsky on bass.
Performing hits like "Folsum Prison Blues," "That’s Alright Baby," "Hound Dog" and "Great Balls of Fire," the cast presents a rock concert with a wonderful story, Cline said.
Cline is excited to bring this show to the theater he started last year with partners Bien Resolme and Hal Friedman.
"It defines us at the Ovation Theatre, to take chances on shows that may or may not work, but like my mom said, 'You never know unless you try.'”