Lonely Street Productions celebrates 80 years of Elvis
The King has come back to life and is set to return to Prescott, performing at the Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Aug. 23. Or at least Lonely Street Productions' "Remember the King - Celebrating 80 Years of Elvis" has resurrected him. Touring during the year Elvis Presley would have been 80 years old, the concert is also a celebration of a decade of Lonely Street Productions, which started with a 2005 tribute, also to Elvis.
Robert Shaw, owner and president of Lonely Street Productions, is the show's Elvis. Lonely Street knew this birthday was coming up and a milestone like 80 years usually elicits a good response from people who enjoy the music as well as those who admire the artist, he said.
"It provides a nice platform, if you will, to kind of revisit the music and celebrate what he contributed to music and to culture," Shaw said. "It's hard to imagine 80 years, but we didn't want to let it go by without acknowledging it and bringing the music back to life once more."
The show is a retrospective of the three distinct eras of Elvis' career, Shaw said, noting that Elvis' work is divided into thirds every 10 years from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Shaw said his favorite part of the show is seeing what it means to the audience. Elvis' music was pervasive, especially to those growing up between the '50s and '70s, he said, adding that "everyone has their own Elvis."
"To some people, Elvis is a rock 'n' roller and to some people, he's a gospel singer or a balladeer," Shaw said. "To get more specific than that, maybe Elvis was their first kiss or ... got them through their first breakup. Everybody carries a certain memory of Elvis or his music."
As for which of Elvis' songs he enjoys performing the most, Shaw said he can't pick just one. Instead, for Gospel he connects with "How Great Thou Art," and his favorite rock song is "Big Hunk O' Love," he said. He said he also enjoys "Trouble," which was a song from Presley's film "King Creole."
It's not just Elvis' 80th birthday that Lonely Street is celebrating, but also its 10th anniversary. It's fitting the anniversary show is a tribute to Elvis because the company started with an Elvis '50s show in 2005, Shaw said. Since then, the company has grown to have almost 40 unique productions.
"It's been pretty amazing what's happened in these 10 years," he said, adding they are looking forward to a great many more years.
"Remember the King - 80 Years of Elvis" will be at the Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Centre, 117 W. Gurley St., at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors and can be purchased online at www.prescottelkstheater.com, by calling 928-777-1370, or at the box office one hour before the performance.
- by Jason Wheeler. Follow him on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.