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WALKING IN MEMPHIS (article first published : 2007-02-24)

It’s definitely a case of “long live The King” at The Barnyard Theatre. He may be dead but his spirit is very much alive in the hip-swinging, velvet-voiced Shaky Russell. An Elvis award-winning performer, he had audiences all shook up in Walking In Memphis in 2005 … so much so that the show makes a comeback for three weeks in March.

This charismatic singer has wowed audiences both nationally and internationally, and taking Memphis itself by storm was the ultimate accolade. Shaky is one of today’s supreme Elvis Presley tribute performers with a style and energy that resonates of The King himself. He doesn’t impersonate, nor does he imitate. "What I do is not a 'rip off' but a spectacular tribute. I don't talk to the audiences as Elvis, but about Elvis. I was bouncing to the tunes of Elvis before I could walk,” quips Shaky and with his very apt name, it seems pre-determined that his life was going to be intertwined with one of the world’s greatest musical legends. The Barnyard is now ready to shake, rattle and roll!

Paying tribute to The King in 2007 – the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death – will be an ten-piece cast who bring to life a cross section of tributes to him with the likes of Marc Cohn’s Walking In Memphis, ZZ Tops’s Viva Las Vegas, UB40’s Can’t Help Falling In Love and the Fine Young Cannibals’ Suspicious Minds. These will be performed in addition to The King’s classics such as Blue Suede Shoes, Devil In Disguise, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Love Me Tender and Jailhouse Rock.

The cast will be led by Shaky along with Naseera Timm and Danny Goodman on vocals, Jessy Boyle on backing vocals, Calli Thomson on keyboards, Rowan Stuart (making his Barnyard debut) on guitar, Bongani Sokhela on bass guitar and Brian Frasier on drums. They will be supported by a brass section consisting of Dave Holland on saxophone and Michael Magner on trumpet.

Walking In Memphis runs from March 13 to April 1. Tickets R100 pp (Buy One Get One Free Tuesday nights and Sunday matinees). Bookings and enquiries to The Barnyard Theatre on 031 566 3045, e-mail gateway@barnyardtheatre.co.za or visit www.barnyardtheatre.co.za for more information.




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