REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Hamavand Engineer Shares His Thoughts On ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION

ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION offers a captivating glimpse into the life and music of Elvis Presley

By: Feb. 19, 2024
REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Hamavand Engineer Shares His Thoughts On ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION
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Friday 9th February 7:30 2024, State Theatre

ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION offers a captivating glimpse into the life and music of Elvis Presley, albeit with a few hiccups along the way. Opening night of the show, though not sold out, contained a tough audience, who’s hopes for a stronger, more compelling performance of Elvis was high, including the need for it to flow a little faster than it had in it’s first season. Overall, the show created an engaging atmosphere, especially for those seated closer to the stage, like myself, just 5 rows back.

REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Hamavand Engineer Shares His Thoughts On ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION

The show's starts off by reflecting on Elvis's career with the slogan "Music that changed the World", whilst the years of his life flashed on a backdrop, setting the scene for what was to come. Heavy drumming engulfed Sydney’s State Theatre, setting a lively tone. When Elvis (Rob Mallett) first took to the stage, I couldn’t help but feel that he appeared a little too aged to play the character of Elvis, however, it is fair to say that at this stage, it wasn’t quite clear at what stage of his career the opening was at. As the opening number went on, the “older” Elvis appeared slightly nervous and lacked in charisma and from the audience’s reaction, they didn’t appear too pleased either.

Young Elvis Presley's portrayal (Daniel Lim) was commendable, though hindered by initial sound issues with his pronunciation. His performance improves over time, but his accent doesn't quite match a Southern American one for the 1953 setting. His overall performance gained the hearts of the audience his ability to convey his dream of being a star was certainly felt.

REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Hamavand Engineer Shares His Thoughts On ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION

While Mallett's portrayal of Elvis is overall convincing, there are moments where his performance felt a little wooden, especially considering the audience's familiarity with Elvis's life. The transition between young and older Elvis throughout the show could have been smoother, so as to avoid confusion to the flow of the show. Having another actor play Elvis’ early adult life would have helped the flow and convinced the audience a little more.

REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Hamavand Engineer Shares His Thoughts On ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION

Highlights of the show include Elvis’ audition scene at the Memphis-based Sun Records in 1954, offering a glimpse into the challenges he initially endured on is rise to fame. Mallett’s performance of "It's Alright," marked the beginning of Elvis’ rise. Mallett's rendition of "Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog" and "Love Me Tender" was well-received, with his performance of "Can't Help Falling in Love" being a standout moment. However, Mallett's performance fell short of fully commanding the stage, relying heavily on the dancers to bring his character to life. The show's strength lies in the acting of Annie Chiswell, playing the role of Priscilla Beaulieu's character, who added the much-needed depth and support to Mallett.

REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Hamavand Engineer Shares His Thoughts On ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION

Featuring over 40 hit songs, this new season of the show has a much better flow than in the previous season. ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION offers a comprehensive look at Elvis Presley's life and music, despite some shortcomings. The music is outstanding, and while Mallett's performance has its flaws, the show is a must-see for Elvis fans and music enthusiasts alike.

ELVIS: A MUSICAL REVOLUTION is currently playing in Sydney’s State Theatre and opens October 6 in Melbourne.




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