Million Dollar Quartet is worth a million bucks at Paramount Theatre in Aurora

Kavan Hashemian plays Elvis Presley and Adam Wesley Brown (right) is Carl Perkins in Million Dollar Quartet, Paramount Theatre’s 2017-18 Broadway Series opener. Performances are September 13-October 29, 2017 at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora, IL. Tickets and information: or (630) 896-6666. Credit: Liz Lauren

Elvis Presley. Carl Perkins. Jerry Lee Lewis. And Johnny Cash. In one room. It must have been like a dream. I’m not sure what could equal it today, but I sure felt lucky to be as close as it might be to being a fly on the wall at Sun Records in Memphis, TN that early December day in 1956.

Also lucky for me, in “Million Dollar Quartet,” the four rock ‘n’ roll legends sing lots of their toe-tapping hits. I’m a big enough fan of both the suave Elvis and the too-cool-for-school Cash, but I don’t know much of Lewis and Perkins other than their major tunes (or the ones that Perkins wrote), so the story of Sam Phillips and how he met each soon-to-be idol is a fascinating one.

On the Paramount stage, the smartly-suited Phillips (played by Nicholas Harazin) brings a confidence and warmth that likely only 60 plus years can provide. But that’s the fun of the good-time musical. It takes an actual page from history and creates a lovely and rocking evening that every audience member can enjoy.

What is also fun is that all of the actors are actually playing the instruments, and they’re really good at it, too. There is no orchestra pit for “Million Dollar Quartet.” Gavin Rohrer, who plays Jerry Lee Lewis, is hitting those ivories and nailing it.

Elvis (played by Kavan Hashemian) and Cash (played by Bill Scott Sheets) have incredible stage presence with impressively polished voices. I was grateful for a chance to get to know Perkins (played by Adam Wesley Brown) a bit better and to gain an appreciation for his importance among the musical greats.

Let’s not forget the fifth person in that iconic photo, Dyanne. Played by Courtney Mack, Dyanne adds another level of spunk and sass giving Lewis’ tomfoolery a run for his money.

The small cast makes for an intimate show, which ultimately turns into a million dollar concert. The Paramount and director Jim Corti make it worth every penny.

“Million Dollar Quartet” plays at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., in downtown Aurora through October 29. Tickets can be purchased online or call (630) 896-6666. 


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