BWW Reviews: John Stephan: A Welcome Newcomer Who Brings Roy Orbison Along
When circumstances prevent one from reviewing a show immediately after seeing it, the reviewer may scuttle the review with the thought that it's old news. That's especially true in a city like Las Vegas where there's so much entertainment that's in town for a matter of one to three days. That happened to me once and might have happened again. But this time, circumstances prevented a timely review of John Stephan and not writing about him at all would have been wrong. This guy is so good and gives the audience such a good show, he demands to be written about and, of course, seen whenever one can.
His name is John Stephan and his show is called You Got It! A Salute to Roy Orbison. Stephan doesn't look at all like Orbison but his voice is breathtaking. (Perhaps that's why he's known as "The Voice From Down Under.)
Among the Orbison songs he does are Pretty Woman, Crying, In Dreams, Blue Bayou, Only The Lonely, Running Scared, You Got It, I Drove All Night. He also singes his own European hit, Mascara, a really beautiful song. Backed by an 11-piece orchestra and dancers, the show is a great deal of fun. It's also very informative.
Orbison's son Wesley provides commentary on his father's life throughout the show and Stephan puts the music in the context of Roy Orbison's life - a life filled with great success and an equal measure of sadness and heartbreak.
For me, the music with which I was so familiar that had always been part of my life's soundtrack took on a new, richer, deeper meaning.
The musicians were terrific and the only quibbles one might find wit the production was the over=use of a smoke effect, the intrusive use of the sign that said in big letters "JOHN STEPHAN" and the occasional use of a glaring audience-blinder light.
All of those things, of course, can be fixed and they are minor indeed when taken as part of this wonderful show. It'd be great if producer Adam Steck could find John Stephan a permanent home in Las Vegas where people from around the world could see him. His immense talent calls for that kind of success. Meanwhile, look for him in other cities around the world.