Elvis: If I Can Dream featuring Mark Anthony
Thebarton Theatre, Saturday 6thJuly 2019
(Reviewed by John Glennie / Photos by Geoff Jenke)
Adelaide’s own Elvis impersonator, Mark Anthony, brought his show to Thebby which included VIP Meet-and-Greet packages. He showed us back stage and what goes on behind the scenes and told us Adelaide is the only place he does this, since it is his home-town. After the brief tour he and his guitarist sat on the edge of the stage and sang a couple of songs that weren’t being performed in this show – but will be in next year’s!
Throughout the show we were treated to some great original video footage and memory-joggers. The first set highlighted songs from the early years with songs from his 1956 debut self-titled album. Songs that changed the course of music forever – classics such as That’s All Right, Don’t Be Cruel, My Baby Left Me, I Was The One, Mean Woman Bluesand Ready Teddy.
We were then led through the movie years with songs from Love Me Tender, G.I. Blues, Blue Hawaii, and Viva Las Vegas.
After the movies the video informed us of Elvis’ desire to get back to the stage and Mark took us on another journey where Elvis returned to his love of performing. More great songs and medleys including Heartbreak Hotel, Are You Lonesome Tonightand One Night With Youtook us to the interval.
The second half of the show moved on to the 1970s and more Elvis classic covers such as C.C. Rider, Burning Love, Somethingand Johnny B. Goode. Mark Anthony is very convincing as an Elvis – he has the moves, the costumes, a great sense of humour and, most important, the voice! He even had the guitars – didn’t actually played them but it didn’t detract from the performance. During the last half of this set I lost count of how many scarves he put around his neck, then gave away to many members of the audience. There must have been close to a hundred of them – much to the delight of the recipients. All this without missing a beat while singing greats including Blue Suede Shoes, Can’t Stop Loving You, Feverand Suspicious Minds.
Special note must be made of the outstanding band – I lost count a few times but pretty sure there were 14 of them. They comprised five backing singers, a brass section (father and son trumpeters, saxophone/flute and trombone), keyboards, percussion, drums, and the customary lead and bass guitars. For Blue Hawaiihe even had his young daughter and niece as hula dancers.
Mark obviously has built up a cult following, and justifiably. He is an excellent performer and Elvis impersonator. By now he is on the way back to Las Vegas to represent the US state of Georgia in the Elvis competitions – but he announced he will be wearing a badge saying he also represents Adelaide. I look forward to his return next year with a brand new show!