Bucks County Playhouse presents Million Dollar Quartet Christmas

Jason Cohen, Sam Sherwood, James David Larson, Margaret Dudasik, Joe Boover and Tyler Michael Breeding
Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.
Million Dollar Quartet Christmas, Book by Colin Escott, is the latest iteration of the hit Million Dollar Quartet, which was last seen at Bucks County Playhouse in 2018. This new seasonal version is lighter on story, and heavier on music. The Music Director is none other than the actor/musician playing Carl Perkins, Sam Sherwood. There are twenty-two musical numbers in this ninety-minute show. 
 
The talented actors/singers/musicians give their all in this often madcap performance. Joe Boover is an indefatigable Elvis Presley. His vocalism seemed to grow stronger with each ensuing song. Tyler Michael Breeding is a smouldering, sexy Johnny Cash. Jason Cohen, a phenomenal Jerry Lee Lewis, appears to be visually  masquerading as Adam Sandler impersonating Harpo Marx. The tall and handsome Carl Perkins is deftly played by the aforementioned Sam Sherwood. Bart Shatto is Sam Phillips. His distinguished and varied career includes Broadway, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and the Broadway-bound The Ballad of Johnny and June directed by Broadway legend Des McAnuff. Margaret Dudasik plays the siren Dyanne, Elvis’s girlfriend,  perfectly and with true command of her character.  
 
Upon entering the theater, many noticed a few audience members asking for something at the box office. They were asking for earplugs. Strange, one might think. As the performance began and continued, this audience member didn’t find the music all that loud at all. Not so with the lady sitting in front of me. Whenever one of the many songs started, she would either clasp her hands over her ears, or press her fingers so as to close her ears to sound. What was a problem was the pacing of the musical, and the curious amplification which drowned out some of the lyrics as well as the dialog,. Even Dyanne’s necessary introductory dialog was played over and partially obliterated by the music. Johnny Cash, singing his few numbers beautifully, was occasionally swamped by the music. Sam Sherwood’s Carl Perkins never spoke lower than a shout, and oversold his lyrics. Director Hunter Foster might slow down the fevered pace a bit for time to allow the music and lyrics to breathe. 
 
When all is said and done, Million Dollar Quartet Christmas is a fine entertainment, full of life, vigor and tunes most of the older audience recalls, while the younger members of the audience can enjoy the visceral excitement generated by these gifted live performers. For breezy, engaging, escapist nostalgia, see Million Dollar Quartet Christmas until January 1.
 
For information and ticket availability, visit:
www.bcptheater.org or phone 215-862-2121.
 
Valet parking is available next to the theater for $30.