Elvis has not left the building.
The rock’n’roll star and his friends are sticking around through the summer for a few more curtain calls in Gainesville.
The staff at the Hippodrome is extending its showings of “Million Dollar Quartet” from July 21 to Aug. 4. This is the second time the Tony award-winning musical has been extended, and according to the Hippodrome’s marketing coordinator, Julia Campitelli, it’s because the show has been a hit with the audience.
“At every single show, there’s a standing ovation. Everyone is dancing in the aisles. It’s a very interactive show,” she said.
The musical opened at the Hippodrome Theatre on May 31 and has been drawing record-breaking crowds throughout its entire run,which prompted the need for an extension.
The musical recounts the famous 1956 jam session of rock’n’roll legends Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley with high-energy musical performances and comedy. On that day, the four musicians, by chance, had shown up at Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee. The musical is recounted from the perspective of character Sam Phillips, who in real life was a record producer at that time. Phillips guides the audience through the pivotal career moments of each famed man.
“I think people love it because, for a lot of people, it’s the songs of their childhood. It’s the songs they grew up listening to, and even if you weren’t alive in the ’50s and ’60s, you still know the songs,” Campitelli said.
Hugh Hysell, who portrays Phillips, told Gainesville Downtown he has been pleased with the enthusiastic Gainesville audiences and that the production has been extended a second and final time.
The performers play classics such as “I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash, “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis and “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presely.
“Million Dollar Quartet” appeals to just about everyone and anyone, according to Campitelli.
“We have an older crowd, but I’ve seen kids as young as six in the audience and people as old as 99,” she said.
The musical will only be around for about two more weeks, but the staff at the Hippodrome is already looking forward to their new show debuting on Aug. 30.
“Our next show is called ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,’” she said.
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is another Tony award-winning play about a young detective who is trying to resolve the murder of his neighbor’s dog, which has been killed with a garden fork. As the boy details the facts of the mystery, he faces resistance from his father and uncovers life-changing discoveries.
The Hippodrome and UF School of Theatre and Dance are co-producing the new show, according to Campitelli.
“A lot of UF theater students are going to be in the show,” she said.
Details about the remaining showtimes and ticket prices for “Million Dollar Quartet,” as well as information about the Hippodrome’s new season, can be found on their website, thehipp.org.