Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Return of the King

Dave and I were at the opening night of Elvis - Return of the King last night in the Tivoli.  It's kinda hard to classify this show and I didn't really know what to expect - part drama, part historical recreation, part concert.  Whatever it was: we were entertained.

The concept is based on Elvis's 1968 Comeback Special which was recorded in a couple of sessions at the Burbank studies in California.  I looked at some youtube videos in preparation and the costumes, set design and scripts are spot on.  Kevin Doyle, an already seasoned Presley performer, has his mannerisms and vocals down to a tee.  Close your eyes and you'd think you were listening to the man himself.  He's backed by the Way it Was Orchestra and the Valley Gospel Singers - who also do some songs.  These groups have been working together for years and you can tell it from their relaxed, easy style of performing.  One particularly strong segment, taken direct from the original show, is where Elvis sits down with 3 guys and 4 guitars and more or less takes requests from the audience.  I don't think those calling out songs in the audience were plants, but they actually played a couple of songs as requested, which shows the impressive familiarity with Elvis's back catalogue.

There were several funny moments - hard to tell whether they were ad libbed or not.  Kevin Doyle is performing in leather and he sits down at one stage, commenting "another successful sitting down in leather"!
The second act moves on to Elvis's time in Las Vegas and opens with a brilliant performance of Creedance Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary and finished with "Suspicious Minds" and "Bossanova" (just as I was saying to Dave "I can't believe they didn't play Suspicious Minds?")!

There's no doubt that type of show is going to appeal to a certain age group.  We didn't know every song performed but judging by the audience singalong and participation elements, we were in the minority.  People were up dancing for the last few numbers.  Despite not being the target age group: we really enjoyed it and I wouldn't let it deter you from going.

Return of the King runs until 10th March.  Tickets are a modest €20 - €28.50 and booked by booked on the Tivoli website.  There's also really handy parking right beside the theatre - €5 for the evening.


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