Darlington Hippodrome – until 30 June 2018
Bill Kenwright’s latest offering is This is Elvis – A New Musical. Currently touring the UK starring international award winning tribute artist Steve Michaels as Elvis.
This is a show of two halves. The first half has a semblance of a story line with Elvis performing his 1968 NBC music spectacular, his relationships with his – all unseen – manager, Colonel Parker; his wife Priscilla and baby daughter Lisa Marie. His reliance on his friends to keep him grounded, his grief for his long dead mother and his love of music.
The second half is a concert style re-enactment of his 1969 triumphant return to Vegas at the International Hotel.
Michaels looks and sounds the part, his ability to ad lib with the audience and to perform in black leather in the sweltering heat were quite impressive. The audience clearly loved him – with many cries of “We love you Elvis” during the 2nd half concert.
The band were incredibly talented, lead by Steve Geere on Keyboard and aided by the phenomenal Billy Stookes on drums. But sometimes the band were so loud they drowned out the vocals.
The show did manage to deliver the full range of Elvis’s vocals with gospel, rock and roll, a tribute to the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkle and all his many hits – the second half alone contains over 20 of his hits.
Elvis famously never performed in the UK, so this is a perfect chance for the Elvis fans to have their own recreation of what he might have performed. If you love Elvis then you will love this show
In Darlington until Saturday on tour around the UK