THIRTY-seven years ago, on August 16, 1977, legend, musical icon and King of rock ’n’ roll Elvis Presley died. His death certainly shook the world, and almost four decades later his music is widely appreciated by billions of people.
So, in honour of the late pop star, Rhumbelow Theatre brings you Elvis – Now and Forever, a tribute to one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century.
Back by popular demand, the production features Doug Weich (pictured) as Elvis, accompanied by an electrifying eight-piece live band, and is filled with musical memories of yesteryear.
During our one-on-one, Elvis Presley impersonator and performer Weich chats about the production and what drew him closer to the musical world of the late King.
He is cheerful and, by the sound of his voice, ecstatic to be a part of this production.
“Roland from Rhumbelow Theatre wanted to stage the show to commemorate the death of Elvis, and this is the third year that we’ve done an Elvis show at the Rhumbelow. We try to bring something different to the theatre every year.
“Our first show was Walking in Memphis, the second was Elvis Through the Ages, and this year we have Elvis – Now and Forever, which focuses on his prime years. So we take the audience back to those years and remember the music in the late 1960s and early 1970s,” he says.
And as it’s an Elvis Presley show, Weich says you have to be prepared for all the glitz and glamour that comes with it.
“Expect all the glitter and glam of Las Vegas, the sequinned costumes and good, old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll. It’s going to be two hours of having a great time.”
Asked about his fascination with Presley and what prompted him to become an Elvis impersonator, Weich says: “I literally fell in love with Elvis at the age of 8. I put on my first costume when I was 11. I couldn’t sing, and I used to mime his songs at the age of 11.
“And it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I realised I could sing like him as well. If you ask a child: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’, some will say a doctor, a fireman or a policeman, but for me it was to be an Elvis impersonator.
“It was a dream of mine, and it took me a while to get there, but I fulfilled my dream to be on stage with a live band, and I hope the show gets stronger with time.”
So what can audiences expect from Elvis – Now and Forever?
According to the entertainer, people should be prepared to be wowed by the show.
“I’m on stage with a group of musicians – all professionals – and when the show is over, I believe the audience will walk out and will have been wowed. They will see changes of costumes, great musicians and great vocals – overall, a great show.”
• The production runs from Sunday until September 7 at the Rhumbelow Theatre. Tickets are R120, pensioners pay R100, and block bookings (eight persons or more – first weekend only) R100 at Computicket. For info, call Roland on 082 499 8636.