‘Elvis: A Musical Revolution’ tribute

State Theatre, Sydney.
5 August 2023.

Elvis: A Musical Revolution, produced by David Venn Enterprises, had its world premiere this week on the State Theatre in Sydney. Elvis is A biographical take a look at the lifetime of Elvis Presley, the undisputed king of rock ’n’ roll, and one of the vital celebrated music performers of the final century. Elvis is an inspiring story of 1 man’s rise from the depths of poverty, to not solely a singular phrase family identify, however one that’s synonymous with a musical style. Elvis: A Musical Revolution celebrates Elvis distinctive fashion and his background influences that helped form an period.

Set each in Elvis childhood and maturity, the present opens with a quick take a look at his inner battle that formed his later days, alongside facet a glimpse on the childhood that formed his compositional fashion, themes and temper. It then moved to a extra in-depth take a look at his childhood, and the way he got here to be influenced by the rhythm and blues, gospel, and nation music kinds that weave their method by means of his personal writing.

Sadly, the ebook left one thing to be desired. The story saved going again to childhood, youthful Elvis in his childhood underprivileged hometown of Tulepo, Mississippi, which was brilliantly written and developed into the story, interspersed with grownup Elvis, well-known, engaged on albums, movie and tv. It developed to depict the strung-out man whose comparatively brief however large life ended tragically. The writing gave the impression to be constructing as much as one thing of how Elvis’ life ended however was taking its time in considerably of a sluggish burn, after which abruptly, an enormous dance quantity began which felt prefer it was meant to depict a dwell present, and the musical ended. It felt very sudden, an extended construct as much as nothing. This was disappointing, with all of the potential to inform the reality of the story, maintain it actual and maintain it relatable. As of late, we aren’t afraid of fact, so this felt like they have been afraid to inform the entire story. It felt disjointed and unfinished.

Michael Ralph’s choreography in Elvis: The Musical Revolution is genius. The choreographic work had such a beautiful, pure high quality to it. Elvis himself moved in the best way he felt he wished to maneuver, with abandonment and an infusion of the power within the sound he was creating. It permeates every scene, capturing the power and essence of the late ’40s, ’50s and ’60s in a really tangible method. Whether or not or not it’s the blocking, or extra choreographically focussed scenes, there was a youthful abandonment and power that appeared to emanate from the king of rock ’n’ roll himself. It lacked the generic stylistic traits we’d see in a interval piece, the genuine lifetime of the characters and period portrayed in a relatable trend, 70+ years on. There was some good element within the blocking, and the usage of thoughtfully designed gestural motion. 

There have been some fantastic ‘wow’ moments within the rock ’n’ roll sections, with the ladies being flipped round and thrown up right here, there and in every single place by their companions, with the identical high-energy abandonment that Elvis exuded. It felt like we have been watching the boundaries being pushed, a glimpse on the post-war period freedom that the youth of the day have been discovering, and stretching their legs into. It felt recent and thrilling. It was no marvel the generations earlier than them have been scandalized by what Elvis’ dropped at their screens, and their teenagers. 

Rob Mallett as Elvis was wonderful, he shone brightly because the star he portrayed. His mannerisms, vocal expertise, presence and skill to emulate the king was excellent. He took this marathon of a present in his stride, with stamina, energy and the musical prowess to play such a legend of the music trade.

Rhys James Hankey performed Younger Elvis within the opening night time solid. He was lovable, candy and robust in his character, with stunning vocals and an endearing earnestness that labored properly in his portrayal of the younger, passionate musician who broke racial boundaries and was drawn to rhythm and blues ‘black’ music from a younger age. He didn’t see the boundaries so strongly drawn by the adults and tradition round him; he solely noticed and heard what moved him, and it was a stupendous portrayal of a kid’s method to others – the innocence of youth and the shortage of prejudice. All the solid had a beautiful power and stamina, notably Kirby Burgess as Ann Margaret’s power and enthusiasm have been catching.

The costumes have been enjoyable, capturing the road fashion in a pure trend, while bringing all of the glitz and glam of Elvis’ quintessential stage fashion within the present numbers. The rotating stage, together with a mezzanine stage allowed for a full stage and ranging factors of curiosity to view. 

Elvis: A Musical Revolution was a fantastic tribute to the legend who helped form musical historical past. For followers of the king, and followers of music, this one is important viewing. To have the ability to hear and expertise Elvis’ work and life in such a curated present is a chance to not be missed!

By Linda Badger of Dance Informa.