DENVER (CBS4)– A new Denver Center for the Performing Arts show is based on a legendary moment in rock ‘n’ roll.
“Million Dollar Quartet” brings together four musical greats out of the past. On one special night in the Memphis studios of Sun Records, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee got together.
Of the four, the two actors playing Elvis and Johnny would seem to have the most work cut out for them — capturing the soul of the icon while not going for a full-out impression.
“I didn’t want to be exactly Johnny Cash. You need to be a likeness, you need to have a, you can harken. I also needed it to be real and it needed to come from me. So to find that balance is a really tricky thing because you don’t want to be an impersonator but you want it to breathe, you want it to be a living, breathing person,” said Ben Hale, who plays Johnny Cash.
And that’s essentially true for the actors playing Elvis across the country. There’s a delicate balance to finding the man and the music while staying away from the cartoon impression that’s easy to fall into.
“I think Elvis is a little bit different than the other guys because when people walk in, he’s the most remembered one, he was Elvis. I think that’s the critical one because they’re really picking that one apart because they want to see if the hair is right, if the lip is there, you know. The country boy voice, they want to see that southern, humble country boy from Memphis, Tennessee,” said Justin Shandor, who plays Elvis.
“Million Dollar Quartet” opens at the Buell Theatre on Feb. 25 for a two week run.