REVIEW: The king lives on as This Is Elvis rocks The Playhouse
PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 March 2018
It is 1968 and music icon Elvis Presley is about to make his long-awaited TV comeback after years away from the stage.
That is how Bill Kenwright Ltd’s This Is Elvis sets the scene at Weston-super-Mare’s The Playhouse, celebrating the 50th anniversary since the king of rock ‘n’ roll’s famed 1968 Comeback Special.
From the very first note you realise you are about to witness the most authentic Elvis Presley show you could hope to see.
The audience is taken on an adventure from the singer reappearing on TV screens across the world to performing live for the first time in seven years at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
Starring the superb Steve Michaels, performing as Elvis for the first time in Britain, the show stomps along at an incredible pace, brilliantly working its way through the star’s stunning back catalogue.
Michaels excels in the role and struts around the stage with exactly the kind of confidence and swagger you’d imagine Elvis would have five decades ago.
His energy is infectious and by the end of the show everyone was on their feet in appreciation of his magnificent performance.
That’s without mentioning his unmistakeable voice which nailed both slow and fast Elvis songs to perfection.
Michaels was brilliantly backed by an extremely talented live band, complete with backing singers and a brass section, as well as an impressive lead guitarist.
Following a rip-roaring first half you’d be forgiven for thinking the tempo might slow after the interval.
Instead Elvis and his band ramped their performance, and the volume, up even further as they powered through hits including Viva Las Vegas, Suspicious Minds and Blue Suede Shoes before reaching a crescendo with Jailhouse Rock.
The set also hugely adds to the spectacle as bright, fast-changing colours light up the stage during high-tempo numbers while they are subtly dimmed during slower songs.
The king may be dead, but This Is Elvis proves his legacy is still as strong and powerful as ever.
This Is Elvis will be at The Playhouse in High Street from tonight (Tuesday) until Saturday.
Tickets, priced £28-33.50, are available from the theatre’s website or by calling 01934 645544.