The Old Town Theatre brings numerous acts to town, but few stir as much excitement as, “The King.” Of course, Elvis Presley passed away more than 40 years ago, but there are numerous “Elvis Tribute Artists” around to keep him fresh in audience’s minds, and Travis Powell is one of the best, offering a full command of the Elvis songbook, uncanny mannerisms reminiscent of “The King,” and a genuine enthusiasm for fan interaction.
And so the LEAP Ambassadors spent a Sunday afternoon assisting the Old Town Theatre with a matinee performance. With a surfeit of volunteers, we helped early on with seating the balcony section, but once the full-house was seated, we moved quickly to photography.
With low lighting and an energetic performer, photography can be a challenge. But with three photographers, multiple lenses, and a curious group of photographers-volunteers, we were able to get some good shots–and it helped that Elvis himself not only yielded to photos, but occasionally even posed!
The evening began with “Shake, Rattle, and Roll,” a wonderful quartet of four women, whose jokes, music, and personalities–not to mention bling–set the tone for the rest of the evening.
But it was Elvis who took the audience to another level, beginning with a medley of some familiar hits, followed by more than two hours of favorites.
Jessica, our shyest member, began by photographing near the stage, but that changed when “Elvis” approached her and offered her his hand. Quaking, she extended it, and also managed to get a great shot of the performer, who certainly looked the part.
But this was a bit much attention for Jessica, so she retreated to the back of the auditorium to work the stationary camera. Heather took her place on the side of the stage, where she also received attention, and also got great shots of Elvis.
He began in black leather, evoking his 1968 comeback tour.
After intermission, he switched to his white, sequined jumpsuit. He was a hit in both outfits.
Speaking of intermission, the Old Town Theatre’s Director, Lauren Edwards, took this time announce the winners of the raffle, and she was joined by an audience member, “Kid Elvis.”
Powell performed the great Elvis tunes, “Don’t be Cruel,” “Love me Tender,” “Hound Dog…”
…”Jailhouse Rock,” and, probably the crowd favorite, “Suspicious Minds.”
What we didn’t know is that we didn’t have to go to the stage to get a great shot, because Elvis soon ventured into the audience, taking photographs, holding hands, and a bit of dancing with the audience. It was a hit, and he worked the entire lower auditorium.
When he returned to the stage, some women decided that they would approach him, leading to a protracted segment in which he sang while allowing women to take the scarf from his neck, which was then replaced by a stagehand. Our estimate is that Powell may have gone through 35-40 scarves in this manner.
We were somewhat surprised when Jessica, our formerly shyest member, sauntered to the stage to get in on the action, reaching for Elvis’s hand, grabbing a scarf, and more or less acting like a smitten fan-girl. This behavior continued for at least a day.
Powell wrapped up the extended set with requests from the audience, the American Trilogy, and closed with “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”
But Travis Powell was not done! He moved quickly to the lobby, posed with fans and gave autographs, and then invited people to Seven Leguas to share in dinner.
Of the thirty or forty events, we’ve done this semester, we were in general agreement that this was the most entertaining. Travis Powell put on a great show as “Elvis,” the crowd was very appreciative, and we always enjoy working with the Old Town Theatre.