A week with Tonys, vampires and Betty White - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

A week with Tonys, vampires and Betty White

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Posted: Sunday, June 13, 2010 10:00 am

Little did Oliver Springs, Tenn., native Levi Kreis realize his silly antics on the piano as a kid would help pave the way to Broadway fame and the Tony Awards.

In the hit musical "Million Dollar Quartet," a major nominee at the 2010 Tony Awards (7 p.m. Sunday, CBS), Kreis plays Jerry Lee Lewis and steals the show by mimicking Lee's playing style - leaping atop a piano and, at one point, slapping the keys with his hands behind his back.

As a bored 6-year-old at the keyboard, Kreis wanted to shake things anyway. "I would try to play all sorts of different ways. I would reverse my hands, play with my feet and put my hands behind my back while I played," he says with a laugh.

For his vibrant performance in "Quartet," Kreis has been nominated in the category of Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. "Quartet" centers on a night when Lewis, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash had an impromptu jam session at Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tenn. Besides Kreis's nomination, the show is also vying for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical trophies.

Playing Lewis for four years now - including stints in Seattle and Chicago - has been empowering for Kreis personally.

"It's taken a scrawny, somewhat insecure kid from the hills of East Tennessee and taught me how to know my own power, to share that with the world and love who I am," he says.

"There's a wonderful thing about Jerry Lee Lewis. He has always had a very healthy level of belief in himself."

Other highlights for the week of June 13-19 (listings subject to change):


• "True Blood" (6 p.m., HBO). It's vampires and zombies and werewolves. Oh my.

• "Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami" (10 p.m., E!). The Kardashian sisters are on the road again for a second season of partying and being all around naughty for the delight of reality-show cameras.

• "Design Star" (10 p.m., HGTV). "Survivor" executive producer Mark Burnett takes over the competition in this new season - which explains why all the contestants look dirtier and try to stab each other in the back.

• "The Boondocks" (11:30 p.m., Adult Swim). A cookie sale gets out of hand, and the streets are covered with chocolate.


• "The Hard Times of RJ Berger" (10 p.m., MTV). The misadventures of an anatomically gifted 15-year-old can be seen in this new time period.


• "It's Effin' Science" (6 p.m., G4). This spinoff from "Attack of the Show" tests scientific methods for entertainment (i.e., blasting a portable toilet 100 feet in the air by using sugar-powered rockets).

• "Double Exposure" (10 p.m., Bravo). In this new reality series, a formerly married couple still work together in the high-pressure world of rock and fashion.


• "Hot in Cleveland" (10 p.m., TV Land). Three women move their mid-life crisis from Los Angeles to Cleveland in this new sitcom. Betty White steals the show as a sassy type who comes with the house.


• "Friday Night Lights" (7 p.m., NBC). Coach thinks one of his players brought a gun to school.


• "Dad's Home" (9 p.m., Hallmark Channel). An out-of-work widower has to adjust to being at home with his kids.

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