Million Dollar Quartet does have a bit of a story — about Sam Phillips, the guy who recognized young, raw talent in singers and shaped them into the icons we know today. He was fiercely independent and couldn't really compete with the big labels (he sold Presley's contract in order to keep Sun Records afloat).
Four fine performers portray the singers. James Barry is Perkins, the tightly wound guitar wizard best known for "See You Later, Alligator." David Elkins is Cash, a deep-voiced, somber dude even as a young man. Cody Slaughter (who has been a top Elvis impersonator for years) has the moves, the voice and the occasionally bashful presence that personified the King of Rock-and-Roll. But the most eye-catching performance comes from Ben Goddard as the manic and irrepressible Jerry Lee Lewis. All four guys play their own musical instruments, but Goddard has completely mastered the hammering, bouncing style of Lewis — and he brings a constant stream of humor to the show. A fifth voice of note is provided by Kelly Lamont as Presley's girlfriend Dyann; she has two numbers: a steamy, sensuous rendition of "Fever" and a raucous, sexy delivery of "I Hear You Knocking." You'll come away from this production feeling as if you had the opportunity to experience the essence of these charismatic performers.
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, presented by Broadway in Cincinnati, continues through March 4 at the Aronoff Center downtown.