Review by Jody Miller
Featuring over 40 hit songs, Elvis: A Musical Revolution celebrates the extraordinary life of award winning, cultural icon, Elvis Presley. From his childhood in Mississippi, to his triumphant ‘68 Comeback Special, and ascent to become ‘The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’, this brand-new high-energy production explores the pivotal moments in Elvis’s life and music career through the perspectives of those who knew him best.
Songs include Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, That’s All Right, All Shook Up, Suspicious Minds, Heartbreak Hotel, Burning Love, Blue Suede Shoes, Good Rockin’ Tonight, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Earth Angel, Don’t Be Cruel, Are You Lonesome, Blue Moon of Kentucky, See See Rider, A Little Less Conversation and more.
The State Theatre Sydney was alive with the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll and the echoes of an era gone by as Elvis: The Musical Revolution took centre stage. This electrifying production pays homage to the legendary Elvis Presley, King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and takes the audience on a nostalgic journey through his iconic career and musical evolution.
From the moment the show started, it was clear that the production team spared no effort in recreating the essence of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The set design by Dan Potra and costume design transported the audience back in time, with simple set movements paired with immaculate lighting and projection by Declan O’Neill throughout the show, transporting us from the Sun Studio to the Las Vegas stage. The attention to detail in the costumes by Isaac Lummins were equally impressive, capturing each era’s fashion trends with stunning accuracy, from the youthful exuberance of the early years to the glamorous costumes of the Vegas residency, shown in an Elvis megamix at the end of the show.
The heart and soul of the production undoubtedly lies with the talented cast, with Rob Mallett portraying Elvis himself. He not only captured the physical likeness of the King but also channelled his charismatic stage presence and vocal prowess. The performer’s energy was infectious, filling the auditorium with the same magnetism that once captivated millions of fans worldwide.
Rhys James Hankey emerged as the undeniable star of the evening, embodying the youthful and exuberant spirit of a young Elvis with captivating finesse. His portrayal of the innocent and enthusiastic early-career Elvis left the audience utterly enchanted every time he graced the stage.
Noni Mccallum potraying an endearing Gladys Presley, her magnetic presence and remarkable vocal delivery combined to create a portrayal that felt both authentic and mesmerising, making her an instant favourite among the audience.
Equally deserving of accolades is Kirby Burgess, who showcased her exceptional versatility and talent throughout the production. Juggling the roles of Assistant Choreographer, Ann-Margret, and an array of diverse characters, Burgess proved to be an indomitable force on stage. Her show-stopping dance sequences were a sight to behold, leaving an indelible mark on the performance. What truly set her apart, however, was the seamless manner in which she transitioned between characters, flawlessly embodying each with distinct nuances.
This exceptionally talented and adaptable cast delivers a flawless performance, seamlessly transitioning between diverse roles within the production. Their swift changes of costumes and wigs enhance their versatility. They synergize effectively as an ensemble, delivering breathtaking dance numbers
The musical numbers were a highlight of the evening, featuring some of Elvis’s most beloved hits. From the raw energy of the band took the audience on an emotional rollercoaster through the King’s diverse repertoire. The band, under the musical direction of Daniel Puckey, recreated the lush soundscapes of Presley’s original recordings, eliciting applause after each performance.
Director Allister Smith succeeded in capturing the personal and emotional aspects of Elvis’s life. Intimate moments, both joyful and turbulent, were artfully woven into the narrative, giving the audience a glimpse into the man behind the music. This added depth ensured that Elvis A Musical Revolution wasn’t just a tribute to an iconic artist but also a celebration of his humanity.
Choreography by Michael Ralph seamlessly blended with the music, showcasing Presley’s signature moves and ensuring that every member of the ensemble was engaged in the spectacle.
Elvis: A Musical Revolution at the State Theatre Sydney is a triumphant celebration of a musical legend whose impact continues to reverberate across generations. The production captures the essence of Elvis Presley’s unparalleled charisma, talent, and cultural significance. It’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who witnessed his glory days and a thrilling introduction for those discovering his music for the first time. The standing ovation at the end was a testament to the show’s success in honouring the King and his enduring legacy.
Elvis, A Musical Revolution is playing at the State Theatre, Sydney till the 10th of September before moving to Melbourne.
For more information: https://elvisamusicalrevolution.com.au/
Rob Mallett – ELVIS
Noni Mccallum – GLADYS PRESLEY
Ian Stenlake – COLONEL PARKER
Annie Chiswell – PRISCILLA PRESLEY
Kirby Burgess – ANN-MARGARET
Matt Heyward – VERNON PRESLEY
Sienna Embrey – DIXIE
Ben Hall – SAM PHILLIPS
Aidan O Cleirigh – SCOTTY MOORE
Hanlon Innocent – BILL BLACK
Connor Morel – DJ FONTANA
Charly Williams – REVEREND & OTHERS
Joti Gore – ROY BROWN & OTHERS
Jo-Anne Jackson – ROSETTA & OTHERS
Zuleika Khan – BETTY & OTHERS
Oliver Bosward – YOUNG ELVIS
Rhys James Hankey – YOUNG ELVIS
Finn Walsham – YOUNG ELVIS
Tommy Kent – YOUNG ELVIS
David Cuny – ALTERNATE ELVIS
Nic Collins, Lauren Jimmieson, James Mac Alpine, Callum Marshall, Jarryd Byrne, William Motunuu, Moniquewa Williams, Nicole Vella