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August 28, 2015

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POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 28, 2015 Page 5 MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at the Ogunquit Playhouse A Bit off Key iiiiiiii Robert Britton Lyons (Carl Perkins, Nat Zagree (Jerry Lee Lewis), Jacob Rowley (Elvis Presley) and Scott Moreau (Johnny Cash). (Photo by Jay Goldsmith} Million Dollar Quartet at the Ogunquit Play- house is a fun night of rock and roll that will have you tapping your feet, but it is lack- ing in a few areas, and that keeps it from being the usual homerun I have come to expect from the Playhouse. On December 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash all happened ~to meet by chance at Sam Phillip's Sun Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Perkins was there to make a recording with Jerry Lee as a backup pia- nist, Cash dropped by to listen in, and a little later Elvis wandered in to visit his old men- tor Sam Phillips. What ensued was a jam session that, fortunately, was recorded. It is also the inspiration for this play, which is a great idea. All of the scenes take place in front of or inside of the beautifully recreated Sun Stu- dios (the original Broadway set was brought up to Ogunquit for this production), and the detail is striking right down to the sound proofing on the walls. Lighting and sound are also close to perfect. Jacob Rowley (Elvis Presley), Scott Moreau (Johnny Cash), and Robert Britton Lyons (Carl Perkins) all do their best in recreat- ing their respective characters with Rowley and Moreau straining to impersonate Presley and Cash. Lyons, as Perkins, is the best of the three in that he stays more fo- cused on the music and style of Perkins rather than going the impersonation route. This approach works much better. Nat Zagree as Jerry Lee Lewis is another matter altogether. He certainly has the en- ergy of the young Jerry Lee. But instead of conveying the great talent that Lewis had, this part was more played for laughs, and that is a shame. Yes, Jerry Lee was a wild child, but he was also a serious and outstanding musician with an incredible voice. Zagree never came close to capturing the depth and richness of Jerry's vocal talents and, while his piano playing was excellent, he couldn't recreate the Killer's musical chops. His role was more slapstick bordering on silliness, and I had to keep fighting off thoughts of how much better he would be playing Chico Marx. Mr. Lewis deserves better. There were two unexpected high points in the production. Bligh Voth in the role of Dyanne, Elvis's girlfriend (Presley's actual girlfriend at the time was Marilyn Evans, and she did not sing that day.}, was abso- lutely outstanding in her rendition of the steamy and sultry ~Fever," the Peggy Lee classic. She also rocked the theatre with "I Hear You Knocking.~ Jason Laughlin brought depth and sincer- ity to his portrayal of Sam Phillips, and it would have been interesting to see him go www.depasqualeventures,com (Continued on Page 13) Mar Seafood, Crudo & Oysle~ Ba OOO Mare Place 223 Hanover St. 6t 7.723.MARE Bricco Boutique Italian Cuisine OOO 241 Hanover St, * 617~248.68C0 Quattro Grille, Rosliccefia & .Pizzeria OOO 266 Hanover St. * 617.720.0444 Trattoria II Panino Boston's Ist Original Trattoda OOO l I Pormenter St, - 617,720~ 1336 Sfizi Mediterranean Tapas Bar Coming Soon OOO 135 Richmond SL Bricco Panefferla Homemade Artisan Breads OOO Bricco Place 241 Hanover St, o 617,248.9859 Bricco Salumeria & Pasta shoppe Voted Best Sandwiches ooo Bricco Place 24l HOnorer St. - 617.248,9629 (next tO Bricco Panetteria) Gelateria & Cannoli Factory Homemade Getato & Cannolis OOO 272 Hanover St, 64 Cross St, 617.720.4243 -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 THE DANTE ALIGHIERI SOCIETY PRESENTS Sunday, September 13, 2015 A New Play in Two Acts by Clay Ballard Director Kate Caffrey, Producer Phil Micali and Historical Consultant Franco Mormando "This new play was inspired by my book, Bernini: His Life and His Rome. The playwright (NYC)has crafted a wonderfully compelling human and artistic drama. I heartily recommend this staged reading, one of several occurring in different cities in the USA. The first one took place at the Players Club in NYC in June." --France Mormando Bemini in Ecstasy is a portrait of one of our greatest artists, the sculptor, architect, painter and playwright Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). In his lifetime, the tempestuous, ambitious Bernini was both a legend and a scandal to the Romans; yet he became the intimate of eight popes. This play follows Bernini from the lowest moment of his career to the creation of his most famous statue, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. Against the backdrop of Baroque Rome and the Catholic Church in the Age of Absolut- ism, Bernini in Ecstasy presents the mythic personalities who inhabited this rarefied world at a critical time in history and por- trays these great figures in all their human- ity. Bernini in Ecstasy is more than a history play; it's more than a religious play or a play about power; it's more than a play about patronage or sexuality or the role of women. Bernini in Ecstasy illuminates the peren- nial struggle between art and commerce, between spiritual inspiration and religious dogma, between the spirit and the flesh; and in doing so, it deepens our understanding of the world today. This is a staged-reading of Bernini in Ecstasy by professional actors. It will last about two hours, with one intermission, to be followed by a conversation between the audience, the playwright, and the director. At the Dante Alighieri Society is located at 41 Hampshire Street (Kendall Square, two blocks from Kendall Square Cinema), Cambridge, MA, 617-876-5160. For further information, please contact Franco Mormando at mormando@,; 617-552-6346. Sponsored by the Nicholas J. Sottile Fund for Italian Studies, Boston College. 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