Audiences can't help singing along to the endless number of chart-topping hits featured in Blue Suede Shoes: Memories of the King, onstage now for one week only through July 21st on the Mainstage at Huron Country Playhouse.
More than 30 years ago the legendary Elvis Presley, who transformed an entire generation with his personal style and zest for music of every genre, met a tragic fate. However, the story of his meteoric rise to stardom continues in this remarkable theatrical production that commemorates Elvis' life from humble beginnings to the unforgettable end, as seen through the eyes of his lifelong business manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
"This play is a tribute to a true artistic pioneer," says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. "It contains one hit after another, and whether or not you're a fan, this show will touch your heart, make you laugh, and leave you singing your way out of the theatre."
Renowned Elvis impersonator Roy LeBlanc takes to the stage as the American icon who became one of the most popular singers of the 20th century. LeBlanc has many titles under his belt, including The World's Finest Elvis Impersonator from the annual Elvis Extravaganza in Las Vegas, and Grand Champion of the world's largest annual Elvis contest in Collingwood, Ontario.
LeBlanc genuinely personifies The King, which inspired co-creators Chris McHarge and Colin Stewart to bring this unique theatrical endeavour to life. Entertaining the crowds with his remarkable swagger and versatile voice, LeBlanc embodies the heart and soul of the legendary performer, who millions of fans continue to cherish to this day. From his renditions of "Love Me Tender", "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Jailhouse Rock" to when he's singing "Viva Las Vegas", "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds", the audience simply can't get enough of LeBlanc's raw emotion.
"Blue Suede Shoes: Memories of the King is an awe-inspiring production," says Mustakas. "LeBlanc's tremendous talent gives the audience exactly what they are hoping for – a chance to relive the memories of one of the greatest musical icons of all time, performed by an artist who makes you believe that The King is still alive."
This unique show takes the audience on a walk down memory lane, along the ups and downs of Elvis' extraordinary life as witnessed by his dedicated business manager. As Colonel Tom Parker, Chris McHarge treats the star of the show with compassion and respect, and provides a few laughs along the way.
As one of the creators of Blue Suede Shoes: Memories of the King, along with Colin Stewart, McHarge is at the top of his game. Not only does he tackle the part of the Colonel but he also directs the production. A veteran of Canadian theatre, McHarge has been at the helm of over one hundred productions during his career, including twelve world premieres with Canada's preeminent playwright, Norm Foster.
Backing up LeBlanc is an excellent band headed up by Colin Stewart on Bass, Dean Harrison on Piano, John Kenny on Guitar, and Ted Peacock on Drums. Stewart also serves double duty as Music Director, and expertly leads the way through more than 40 of The King's greatest hits.
Over the course of the performance, the audience has a glimpse at the most transformative moments in Presley's life. From the early days at Sun Records and his time with RCA, through his induction to the U.S. Army in 1958, followed by a plethora of leading roles in nearly 30 films produced during the 1960s, Blue Suede Shoes: Memories of the King is a prolific journey through The King's life and career.
As true Elvis fans would expect, one of the most thrilling moments in this play occurs when the stage is set for his Comeback Special - Presley's first live performance since 1961. Widely regarded as one of his greatest performances, the show aired on NBC, December 3rd, 1968 and led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours.
The overall mood of the production is greatly enhanced by the work of Lighting Designer Jeff Johnston Collins. Johnston Collins and McHarge are collaborators on the Set Design.
Elvis Presley's death on August 16th, 1977 ended a remarkable career and firmly established him as a Rock & Roll legend. But in Grand Bend, The King lives again. So take a trip to the Huron Country Playhouse to see this unforgettable celebration. You'll be glad you did.