Too much vibratin' goin' on | Bleader

Too much vibratin' goin' on

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I was happy to be at the Goodman's Owen Theatre for the premiere of Million Dollar Quartet--until the music started. A commercial production by Dee Gee Theatricals, MDQ focuses on the day in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis jammed together at Sun Records founder Sam Phillips's Memphis Recording Service. The show's got a cast of wonderful musicians, and a piano-chewing turn by Levi Kreis as the irrepressible Lewis. But most of the two dozen classic songs in this revue are delivered at the ear-splitting, cringe-inducing, stadium-concert volume that's become way too common for shows in small, acoustically sensitive venues like the Owen. I'm talking about amplification that distorts the music, assaults the audience (Didn't they crank the volume at Gitmo?), and sends you home with a tinny ringing in your ears. In the case of MDQ, it's also historically inaccurate. I left the Goodman thinking we need to end the tyranny of the great and powerful--and probably deafened--guy in the sound booth. It doesn't look like this'll change unless we speak up, so let's hear from you now--while we can still hear at all.

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