MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, Broadway's new hit musical, is pleased to announce that Ray Benson, front man for the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel and nine-time GRAMMYTM Award winner, will join the cast of the Tony nominated Best Musical for a special performance during the finale of the Tuesday evening, November 16 performance at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).
Benson has been a dominant figure in music for 40 years as the front man for Asleep at the Wheel, the world-renowned Western swing band. Benson has released more than 25 albums and won nine GRAMMY Awards. His latest album It's A Good Day with famed Texas Playboy Leon Rausch has earned critical acclaim and legions of new fans.
The cast of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET features Eddie Clendening (Elvis Presley), Lance Guest (Johnny Cash), Tony Award® winner Levi Kreis (Jerry Lee Lewis), Robert Britton Lyons (Carl Perkins), Tony Award® nominee Hunter Foster (Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown) and Elizabeth Stanley (Cry-Baby).
On December 4, 1956, an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley together. The place was Sun Records' storefront studio in Memphis. The man who made it happen was Sam Phillips, the "Father of Rock and Roll," who discovered them all. The four young musicians united for the only time in their careers for an impromptu recording that has come to be known as one of the greatest rock jam sessions of all time.
Inspired by the actual event, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET features a treasure trove of the greatest rock and roll, gospel, R&B and country hits from these musicians, including such iconic songs as "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Riders in the Sky," "I Walk the Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET captures the infectious spirit, freewheeling excitement and thrilling sounds of a singular moment when four of the music industry's most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history.
In addition, to Kreis' Tony® for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET received Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical (Colin Escott & Floyd Mutrux). The show received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Levi Kreis), a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Musical Revue and three Drama League Nominations including Distinguished Production of a Musical and Distinguished Performance (Lance Guest & Levi Kreis).
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is directed by Eric Schaeffer and features a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux. The design team for Broadway includes: Derek McLane (scenic design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Kai Harada (sound design) and Chuck Mead (musical arrangements and supervision).
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is produced by Relevant Theatricals, John Cossette Productions, American Pop Anthology, Broadway Across America, and James L. Nederlander.
The Chicago production of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET opened in 2008 and is still playing to packed houses at the Apollo Theatre, for information about the Chicago production of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, visit wwwithMillionDollarQuartetLive.com.
Tickets for MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET are available online www.TicketMaster.com, by calling 212-307-4100, or by visiting the Nederlander Box Office (208 West 41st Street).
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET's performance schedule is Tuesday at 7PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 7PM. Matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM.
NEW REGULAR PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE (BEGINNING MONDAY, JANUARY 3): Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.
Ray Benson. At a towering 6'7", the Philadelphia-born Ray Benson is considered a giant in the industry. However, it's his contributions to music history, not his height, that have made him a dominant figure on the music scene since 1970. Ray Benson is the front man and founder of the world-renowned Western swing band - Asleep at the Wheel. For 40 years, Ray has been the driving force behind "The Wheel" and has overseen the release of more than 25 albums, countless tours, and has won nine GRAMMYTM Awards. Last year's CD release of Willie & The Wheel with collaborator Willie Nelson garnered another Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album. This year's It's a Good Day with famed Texas Playboy Leon Rausch is earning critical acclaim and legions of new fans for the genre.
Ray's honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association, the TEC Les Paul Award and, in 2004 the official Texas State Musician. He stars in a play he co-wrote, "A Ride with Bob: The Bob Wills Musical," to commemorate the legend's 100th birthday. A sought-after producer, he has worked with such artists as Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Carolyn Wonderland and Suzy Bogguss. Additionally, Benson is the founder of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, an organization that supports aging R&B artists from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s that have reaped little financial benefit from their music.