\\A select group of students at Cumberland High School were recently visited by four music icons. The characters of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins gave a special performance from their musical "Million Dollar Quartet".
The show, which is on stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center, is based on actual events. Back in the 1950's, four iconic musicians came together for an impromptu jam session at Sun Record Studios.
"It's just an amazing, really tightly knit, fun show just packed full of these, you know, dynamic these rock n roll legends" said David Elkins, who plays Johnny Cash. "It's kind of like a fly on the wall perspective of what it was like to sell records in the 1956" he added.
Elkins had been listening to Johnny Cash music for years. "I love singing and I've been fending for Johnny and so I'd sing along to his old stuff. But didn't know I was preparing for a job".
"What's nice is going back to the roots. You know he hit the scene at 1954. He was 19 years old. He was just a kid, a humble kid from the south who had a love for music and he had never done anything outside of going to sun records" said Billy Woodward. He plays a young Elvis Presley in the musical.
As for James Barry, playing the role of Carl Perkins is something he finds to be rewarding. "His talents and contributions to rock n roll really fell through the cracks for a lot of people. So it's a really honor for me to share his contributions and talents with every audience, every night".
Throughout the tour, the performers have grown close. "Touring with a rock band has always been something I wanted to do and now I'm really doing it; a major check off the bucket list. And I couldn't be doing it with a nicer bunch of guys. You now- we're just having a ball."
Whether it's hitting the stage at PPAC or Cumberland High School, they're always wowing the crowd.
"Everybody loves it, every generation. You see the older people remember the stuff when they were young and the young people who have respect for those guys. You know it's as close as we can try to make to see these guys for real" said Elkins.
Tickets for "Million Dollar Quartet" are still available The musical is on stage through Sunday at the Providence Performing Arts Center.
Copyright WPRI 12
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