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ELVIS CENTRESTAGE! (article first published : 2008-03-15)

The Playhouse Company has scooped a hot new production and will present Elvis Centrestage! - a powerhouse entertainment show that is set to take Durban audiences by storm during its short season in the Drama Theatre from March 27 until April 6.

As the show’s title suggests, this dazzling tribute to all-time legend Elvis Presley is the creation of the popular production house Centrestage (www.centrestage.co.za), who brought the hugely successful Magnificent 7 shows to Durban recently. The high-voltage Elvis celebration features the unstoppable Centrestage All-Star Band fronted by its super-gifted young lead singer and keyboard player, Rory McLaren.

KZN fans will welcome the return of this charis Magnificent 7 and at last year’s Hilton Festival respectively. His impersonations as King of Rock n Roll in Elvis Centrestage! are augmented by the Sweet Sensations and the Centrestage Horn Section.

Taking in all the legendary entertainer’s biggest hits, Elvis Centrestage! adopts a slick, short-attention span approach that keeps things moving at a rate of knots, enhanced by multi-media production values that include giant screen projections of a smiling King of Rock himself, as well as bits of Elvis’s history, delivered in true Memphis style.

Wayne Kallis unleashes his pent-up rock n roll energy to depict Elvis in his frenetic early fifties, hip-swaying days with hits such as It’s Allright Mama; Blue Suede Shoes; Teddy Bear, and Heartbreak Hotel, while likeable drummer Gino Fabbri provides some military fun in his GI Blue rendition, tipping the hat at Elvis’s time in the army.

Covering Elvis’s movie career, musical director Donovan Hattingh takes centrestage for King Creole and Viva Las Vegas, while keyboardist Kanya Matomali does a fun turn on Trouble and McLaren puts on his jailbird attire for Jailhouse Rock. One of the highlight moments belongs to the leather-clad McLaren, who breathes new life in Elvis’s 1970 Comeback Special performances.

The high-voltage second half features the legendary star’s spectacular Las Vegas period, with the brass section comprising Geoff Taylor, Shawn Lyon and Grant Bell lifting ever popular songs such as You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me; I Just Cant Help Believing; Burning Love; Cant Help Falling in Love,” and “Suspicious Minds to new heights. McLaren further shows his metal with stirring performances of big songs such as Impossible Dream and American Trilogy.

Presented in extravaganza style, Elvis Centrestage! is staged by Lynette Collett and features superb lighting design by Mike Broderick. Tickets R100 booked through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or call Playhouse Box Office on 031 360 0540 or 031 369 9596, or book online at www.computicket.co.za




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