To portray Johnny Cash, an American icon, at an acceptable level, Scott Moreau must walk the line of believability.
To portray Johnny Cash, an American icon, at an acceptable level, Scott Moreau must walk the line of believability. Based on reviews, Moreau totally embodies Cash from start to finish without ever falling off course. He’s just one part of the “Million Dollar Quartet,” a Tony Award-Winning musical that will fill the Schuster Center stage on June 17 - 22.
Inspired by actual events the “Million Dollar Quartet” is set in 1956 when Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley are gathered together by Sam Phillips (the ’Father of Rock-N-Roll’) at Sun Records, in Memphis, to hold a remarkable jam session. The careers of all four legends would soon be launched by Phillips. That magical night is recreated through a catalog of chart topping hits including; ‘Blue Suede Shoes,’ ‘Sixteen Tons,’ ‘Great Balls of Fire,’ ‘I Walk the Line,’ ‘See Ya Later, Alligator,’ ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’ and ‘Hound Dog.’
Moreau describes the “Million Dollar Quartet” as more than just a typical musical production, “It’s a great story with timeless music that bridges the world of theater with a rock concert.” The touching story of four artists, seeking a dream, is concluded with some foot stomping music that is sure to resonate with each audience member. “If your not a fan of musicals, it still has a lot to offer,” he said.
Beyond the music, Moreau appreciates how the show provides a glimpse into the lesser seen side of Cash. “I love letting people know about his early beginnings, while struggling to make a dollar, not to mention the music he wanted to make. It show where he came from rather than just what people commonly associate with him,” said Moreau.
In addition to Cash, the audience will also learn more about Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
The familiarity that so many feel with Cash, adds a level of difficulty to the role for Moreau. “It’s an honor to pay tribute to him every day, but it’s not the easiest job in the world. People have expectations of what he was like, which makes it a challenge,” he said.
To justly serve as Cash and be confident in his portrayal, Moreau was blessed with the opportunity to meet with some of Cash’s family members and those who shared the stage with him. It’s an experience that provided great insight that Moreau carries with him for each performance.
Another highlight for Moreau was visiting the actual Sun Records, where the show is set to record a tribute album to Cash. It contains several of the songs he sings in “Million Dollar Quartet.” A fan of Cash, long before being cast, it was an especially meaningful experience for him. “It was amazing to stand where he stood and did the same thing,’ said Moreau.
The ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ is sure to make audiences feel rich with entertainment while at the Schuster Center from Tuesday, June 17 to Sunday, June 22.
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.