By Brian Robin
Meet the Cast of "Million Dollar Quartet"
Casting is complete for Million Dollar Quartet, the high-energy Outside SCR production that runs July 30-Aug. 21 at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. Million Dollar Quartet, book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, original concept and direction by Mutrux, features two SCR alums and several newcomers among its diverse cast.
The returners are Rustin Cole Sailors, who plays Elvis Presley, and Corey Jones, who plays Sam Phillips. He played Dr. Gibbs in SCR’s spring production of Our Town by Thornton Wilder.
Sailors returns after his 2017 performance as Guy in Once. He segues to Outside SCR from playing Elvis in the Marriott Theatre’s production of Million Dollar Quartet, his most recent role. Earlier, Sailors played the Pharaoh in the Sierra Repertory Theatre’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Rebel in the Norwegian Cruise Line production of For The Record: The Brat Pack, Drew in Rock of Ages at the Venetian Las Vegas, and in Hair at the Hollywood Bowl.
Before stepping into Our Town, Jones played The General in the first and second national tours of The Book of Mormon. Before that, Jones played Tate in the world premiere of How to Fight Loneliness, King John in King John, Aaron in Titus Andronicus and Caliban in The Tempest—all at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. He’s also been Gil in Wild With Happy (Pittsburgh City Theatre), Chad Deity in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Dallas Theater Center), Pa/Chief in The Color Purple (Celebration Theatre) and Macon in Gee’s Bend (Arkansas Repertory Theatre).
Joining Sailors and Jones are Chris Clark (Johnny Cash), Armando Gutierrez (Carl Perkins), Billy Rude (Jerry Lee Lewis), Michelle Lauto (Dyanne), Israel López Reyes (W.S. “Fluke” Holland) and Wyatt Wireman (Brother Jay).
An improv/stand-up comedian, Clark called playing Cash “one of his dream roles.” He was last seen playing Tully on the first national tour of Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville. His regional theatre credits include Pippin, Sister Act, Guys & Dolls, Freaky Friday and The Little Mermaid (Music Theatre Wichita), Beauty and the Beast, Oklahoma! and Hairspray (Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre).
Gutierrez, who grew up in nearby Huntington Beach, appeared most recently in the Cincinnati Playhouse’s revival of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He also appeared in The Buddy Holly Story (Florida Repertory Theatre) and Little Red Robin Hood (People’s Light). Gutierrez appeared in the original company of the Grateful Dead musical Red Roses Green Gold and Atlantic Theatre Company’s Wonderland. He plays in a Brooklyn-based band, Saddlemen, who will release their debut album this fall.
Like Sailors with Presley, Rude brings familiarity to his role as Lewis. Rude played the flamboyant Lewis on Million Dollar Quartet’s national tour, as well as at the Laguna Playhouse and Solvang Festival Theatre. He also appeared in Grease and Murder For Two (Marriott Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Drury Lane Oakbrook), and on “Chicago P.D.”
Lauto won a Jeff Award for Best Actress for her role in Spamilton: An American Parody at Forbidden Broadway. She’s also appeared in Evita (Drury Lane Theatre), In The Heights and Sunset Boulevard (Porchlight Music Theatre) HAIR (Mercury Theater Chicago) and Oklahoma!, Ragtime and Grease (Marriott Theatre).
The Los Angeles-based Reyes brings a wealth of credits from around the country. Recent credits include Oedipus El Rey (Kirk Douglas Theater, La Victima (Latino Theater Company, Los Angeles Theater Center), The House is Black (The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Concrete Orange: An American Fable (Guthrie Theater) and Rabbit/Moon (Boise Contemporary Theater) among others. Reyes’ writing was recognized with the Mickey Dude Fellowship for the Depiction of Ethnic Diversity in American Life and his plays have been developed with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab/Latinx Play Project and the Latino Theater Company and he is currently commissioned with the Latino Theater Company’s Circle of Imaginistas.
A freelance bassist based in Los Angeles, Wireman played in Guys & Dolls (Spokane Civic Theater) and South Pacific (Coeur d’ Alene Summer Theater). He’s also performed with orchestras in Washington and Ohio.
Directed by Broadway veteran James Moye, Million Dollar Quartet is the lone Outside SCR production in 2022.