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by Charlsie Dewey | charlsie@revuewm.com THEATRE


Other Performing


Arts Events | by Lindsay Patton-Carson


Moscow Festival Ballet


Fairytale Fantasy Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo Jan. 22, 2 p.m. $25-$35 millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300


Founded in 1989, the Moscow Festival Ballet brings together the classical elements of Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in a separate company. It has brought timeless pieces to the stage, including Giselle, Don Quixote, Paquita and Carmen. This month, the company brings Fairytale Fantasy to West Michigan.


New Brain Kalamazoo Civic Theatre


Jan. 13-29, show times at 2, 7:30 and 8 p.m. $17-$23 kazoocivic.com, (269) 343-1313


New Brain is the autobiographical creation from William Finn, the award-winning composer of The 25th


Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.


The production follows Gordon, a struggling composer hoping to get his pieces on Broadway. It’s only when he has to face a life-threatening condition that finds the courage to start writing what he wants.


Swingin’ with Sinatra


and Dorsey DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids Jan. 13-15, show times at 3 and 8 p.m. $42-$90 grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451


Grand Rapids Symphony gives us the chance to relive the chemistry and musical awe of Frank Sinatra and his band leader, Tommy Dorsey. Swingin’ with Sinatra and Dorsey combines the talents of Sinatra interpreter Steve Lippa, Guest Conductor Jeff Tyzik and Trombonist James Pugh to present classics such as “My Way,” “New York, New York” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”


MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET original Broadway cast. PHOTO: JOAN MARCUS


Elvis Sighting in Grand Rapids


the stage musical, Million Dollar Quartet, written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, which explores that evening and the four iconic performers whose music was about to explode across the nation. “I think there is so much built up about these guys, becoming


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such icons, and the show definitely plays with that,” said Billy Woodward, who plays Presley. “At the same time it strips it completely away and explores these guys as real people. They were average people like you and I who found themselves in these extraordinary circumstances.” Though the musical is based on actual


events, there is also a degree of fictionalization that adds tension to the plot. “They worked in a story line about Cash


deciding that he is going to move on from Sun Studios and Sam Phillips is trying to sign him up for a contract extension,” Woodward said. “There is a little bit of drama involved in that. There is also some drama around Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley because Carl had written ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ and it was his No. 1 hit on the pop, rhythm and blues and country charts, but the problem is Elvis covered the song and


EC. 4, 1956 WAS A historic day in music history. It was the day that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins happened upon one another at Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tenn. and spent the next several hours recording country and gospel tracks together.


The famous and celebrated recording has become the center of


played it in front of a national audi- ence and now people think it is an Elvis song.” The plot also includes flashback


scenes as Sam Phillips, founder of Sun Record Studios and the man who discovered Presley, Cash, Lewis and Perkins, remembers the first time he met each of them. Woodward said one of the things


MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids Jan. 17-22, show times at 1, 2, 6:30, 7:30 and 8 p.m. $25-$55 broadwaygrandrapids.com, (616) 235-6285


he thinks might surprise people is learning just how much gospel music influenced rock and roll. The musical is filled with gospel songs as well as favorites like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Real Wild Child,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line” and “Great Balls of Fire.” When the famous recording occurred, Elvis


was only 21 years old and had just become fa- mous, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins were still rising stars and Jerry Lee Lewis was an unknown beyond Tenn. The musical gives audiences a fly on the wall perspective of these four men who were in the midst of making rock and roll history, and would go on to become icons of the genre. n


MAN IN BLACK: Original Broadway cast member Lance Guest as Johnny Cash. PHOTO: JOAN MARCUS


SCHEDULE | DINING |SIGHT SOUNDS | SCENE S


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