Now in previews: “Boomers!,” the musical

The second of two pieces in which we compare recent Broadway openings (the first is here).  Ah, comparative theater blog posts–  we’ve already lost half our readership!  But what else is one fit to do when once aces Introduction to Theater History and Theater Theory, and nothing else–  nothing else.  Damn you, theatre degree (with the pretentious ‘re’ spelling)!

I'm holding out for Sony's "Spiderman" reboot next.

My agent assures me I'm doing that CW pilot next.

This is a review of the new Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet, which recently opened at the Nederlander Theater, under the direction of one Mr. Floyd Mutrix, who also schemed up this concept and co-wrote what passes for the book with Mr. Colin Escott.

Million Dollar Quartet is listed in the daily Times’ ABC’s of theater with the names of its characters above the title, as though they were the actual performers:  Cash.  Presley.  Perkins.  Lewis.  At first glance I thought for sure that ticket prices would be even higher than normal, as three of these men are dead.  But while this ABC’s gimmick is appropriate (they are the show), it also points up the musical’s failings right off the bat:  There ain’t much else.

I've got to sign with WME... no one knows who I am.

The music, a hodgepodge of instantly recognizable tunes and a few lesser known gospel ones that were actually sung that night by Messrs. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and the young and therefore still alive Jerry Lee Lewis, carry the show, and these tunes are so damn well written it doesn’t matter how often you’ve heard ’em…  it’s a fun, frolicking, terrific experience.  Also, the four musicians / actors who steps into the legend’s bodies elevate it somewhat beyond a Vegas tribute, as each one is particularly uncanny for the role (though the wisecrackin’, piano-playin’ Lee Lewis almost steals the show).

I'm loosely attached to NBC's "Rockford" reboot.

But is it a Broadway musical?  En, not really.  It’s more of what it is:  A Boomer-sanctioned Vegas revue.  Charles Isherwood, in his review, actually gives more weight to the bare-bones plot, if that’s possible.  But here’s toe-tappin’, hip-shakin’, rock-‘n-rollin’ bottom line:  It’s worth seeing for the performances and the post-plot, let-it-rip! music (and at an intermission-less 90 minutes, you can grab a drink after), and, much like another recently panned tuner it should rake in the bucks.

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One Response to “Now in previews: “Boomers!,” the musical”

  1. now in previews: “Nashville” « Wally's Blog Says:

    […] are Sunday.  Try to contain your excitement, dear reader).  American Idiot, Fela!, Memphis and Million Dollar Quartet. Now, I’ve only seen the last two of these so far, but you’re unlikely to hum any tune […]

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