'This Is Elvis', opened last night at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, and let us tell you... Rock n Roll is alive and kicking.
The latest offering from Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield, who first toured this show in 2006, this tour is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 NBC Elvis comeback special, on which the show partly focuses. Headlining the show is Steve Michaels, a lifetime impersonator of Elvis, who has come to worldwide fame for his uncanny resemblance to the King.
Act One is a medley of songs and scenes, showing the ‘comeback special’ on NBC. Act Two focuses solely on the now famous 4 weeks and 57 show engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. Throughout both acts, we are treated to hit after hit. Songs are churned out one after another - Hound Dog, All Shook Up, Love Me Tender, Viva Las Vegas, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You and many many more. 13 wonderful vocalists and instrumentalists makeup Elvis's band and also portray the ‘The Sweet Inspirations,’ the incredible female trio who played with him in Vegas.
While Act One feels quite slow, Act Two comes back with a bang and you're treated to what feels like a live Elvis concert. Michaels, who is based out of Canada, is certainly the best impersonator we’ve ever seen. He was so good, it was as though the audience forgot that he was not actually Elvis himself, so wrapped up were they in his riveting performance. An incredible vocalist that oozes that certain appeal that Elvis once had. Ladies (and some men too) were getting carried away.
At one point a few people stopped just shy of throwing their knickers up on stage. By the close of Act Two and the finale of Jailhouse Rock, the entire theatre was up on their feet, dancing right along with him.
Is this another jukebox musical? Sure it is. But if you’re a fan of The King, then you won’t be disappointed.
'This Is Elvis' runs at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre until July 7th.
Review by Ranae von Meding