MDQ

John “Jerry Lee Lewis” Countryman, from left, Bradley “Carl Perkins” Waters, Cliff “Johnny Cash” Wright and Tyler “Elvis Presley” Hunter perform their final “Million Dollar Quartet” show at the Welk Resort Theatre Thursday night.

On Dec. 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, through fate and circumstance, found themselves at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, resulting in a legendary happening called “The Million Dollar Quartet.” On Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 – 63 years and one day later – the Welk Resort Theatre’s production of “Million Dollar Quartet” will take the stage for the final time.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” said Tyler Hunter, who portrays Elvis Presley in the show. “We’ve had a great time, made some great friends, and we’ve got some things in the works.”

According to General Manager of the Welk Resort Branson and producer of “Million Dollar Quartet” Susan Smith, the Welk Resort Theatre had a five-year commitment to producing the show, and this year is the fifth and final year of that commitment.

“‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ has been one of the most gratifying theatre experiences we have had in our 25 years of business in Branson,” Smith said. 

“The response over the last four years, from critics and guests alike, has been nothing short of phenomenal. When you see and hear the incredible talent that is on that stage and feel the energy and fun that this show brings to an audience, it is really special.”

“Million Dollar Quartet,” is a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that tells the story of “the father of rock ‘n’ roll” Sam Phillips secretly recording an impromptu jam session at the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, Sun Records. On Dec. 4, 1956, music icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins all found themselves in the studio through fate and circumstance. 

As they began singing and playing, Phillips slipped into the control room and started recording something he knew was special.

The show stars Tyler Hunter as Elvis Presley, Bradley Waters as Carl Perkins, John Countryman as Jerry Lee “The Killer” Lewis, Cliff Wright as “The Man in Black” Johnny Cash, Lindsey Perenchio as Dyanne, and Matt Joyce as Sam Phillips.

Since opening in 2015, the Welk Resort Theatre’s production of “Million Dollar Quartet” has remained one of Branson’s most popular shows. 

Smith said the Welk Resort Theatre will continue to host entertainment options of all shapes and sizes.

“I think that the Branson theatre market is ever-changing, and we want to be involved in bringing new and exciting entertainment in to the market for our guests,” Smith said. “‘Million Dollar Quartet’ was a great example of doing something different that was successful. 

“Now, we are shifting to other opportunities.”

Those opportunities include BransonCon, The Jubilee Conference, “one of the best Southern gospel experiences in the world,” as well as Up Close Concerts and Daniel O’Donnell, who will again bring “his amazing Christmas show” to the venue.

As far as the cast, they’re also hard at work on a new project, which expands the legacy and music of Perkins, Presley, Cash and Lewis.

“We’re getting after it,” Tyler Hunter said. “Hopefully, we’ll have something official to announce very soon.”

While they’re all looking forward to new things, everyone involved is also reminding everyone to come catch the “Million Dollar Quartet” production before it’s gone.

“If you have not seen this amazing production, this is your last chance,” Smith said. “And anyone who has seen it will want to make sure they see this incredible cast one more time.”

“Million Dollar Quartet” wraps Thursday night. 

Tickets are available at 417-337-7469, or  MDQBranson.com.

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