‘Quartet’ looks like a million bucks
By Jeffrey Gillespie
for Orgeon's Ashland Tidings Newspaper
It’s not every day that a theater critic is compelled to toss aside his carefully cultivated, urbane demeanor in favor of a staple phrase of gushing enthusiasm from the internet. But then, “Million Dollar Quartet,” the latest offering from Oregon Cabaret Theatre, is no everyday show. It is so tightly and professionally run........And what a show it is.
In his role as Jerry Lee Lewis, Jared Freiburg is the probably the greatest thing in a show filled with great performances. Freiburg, in his first appearance at Cabaret, is a force of nature. He is a stunningly talented pianist, skillfully channeling the “Killer” instinct into a jaw-dropping and athletic performance. Beating the upright piano on which he plays as though it owes him money, Freiburg uses hands and feet, head and tail to assault the poor instrument again and again as he pirouettes through a morass of high-energy numbers like a premier danseur. He puts not a foot or finger wrong for the duration of the show — it’s pretty hard to keep your eyes off of this dazzling newcomer.
Jared has been fully booked for the last three years playing Jerry Lee Lewis in the "Million Dollar Quartet" at theatres in the USA and for three separate 8 month periods of performances on board the Norwegian Cruise Ship "Getaway".
These long ship shows have taken Jared to Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, Germany, Holland, Finland, Estonia and St Petersburg in Russia. The Million Dollar Quartet show's music of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley truly has international appeal.
Jared's portrayal even won praise from Jerry Lee Lewis himself.
Jared's webmaster, Graham Knight, has known Jerry for the last 56 years and he sent the video you see below to Jerry who loved it and felt grateful to be so honoured by the Million Dollar Quartet Show. See Jerry’s praise for this MDQ show below:
To the woman who taught me how to play piano. To the gal that would have me over every weekend as a child just so she could dance with me around the kitchen to the Lawrence Welk Show.
To the charming lady who would rock me in a rocking chair until I was too big and exclaimed "well looks like you're going to have to rock ME now!". To the goofball that makes the best chocolate cake on earth.
And to the loving soul that took me to see Million Dollar Quartet for the first time when I was 15 - and flew out to Colorado to see me in MDQ - I am so happy that you are able to witness your impact come full circle.
To my Grandma, I love you so much!