published Friday, January 13th, 2012

Multimedia show recalls four stages of Presley's career

IF YOU GO

What: "Elvis Lives."

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Where: Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.

Admission: $31.50-$56.50.

Phone: 642-TIXS.

Website: www.ChattanoogaOnStage.com.

Everybody has heard "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building." Few may recall that there was another line in the script that ended Elvis Presley concerts in the 1970s. Mark Kogan remembers and actually got to be the guy on the PA once in Dayton, Ohio.

"The follow-up was: 'You can still get your Elvis super souvenirs in the lobby, and, ladies, you can turn over your Elvis button and use it as a compact mirror."

In 1976 and 1977, Kogan did promotions and merchandising for Presley and his manager, Col. Tom Parker. He is doing some of the same work these days for "Elvis Lives," being billed as "The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists Event."

It is the only show endorsed by both Elvis Presley Enterprises and Graceland.

"It is on par with 'Rain,' the Beatles tribute," Kogan said. "It really is an amazing show that will rekindle a lot of memories."

The multimedia show includes a live band, backup singers, dancers, an Ann-Margret tribute artist, the original film and photo segments on loan from Graceland and eventually four performers who will represent The King during his various incarnations.

Victor Trevino will portray '50s-era Elvis, while Kevin Mills will pay tribute to Presley's film career. That is when the Ann-Margret tribute artist will come onstage.

After an intermission, Ben Klein will do songs from the 1968 comeback concert, and the show will conclude with Elvis on tour, or Vegas-era material. For the show here, according to Kogan, Klein will handle the last two portrayals, while Bill Cherry is scheduled to do the latter for the rest of the tour.

Mills said not every tribute artist can portray Elvis at the various stages of his career.

"I can do the whole show, and Leo [Days from last year's cast] could do it," he said. "Ben and Victor will eventually be able to do it. We all age, just like Elvis did. I've been doing this for 20 years."

Mills said getting the roles is a huge honor and one that every tribute artist in the world would love to have.

"It's a blast and a very prestigious thing to be a part of. I'm doing the movie-era stuff, which isn't done in shows very often."

Mills said every detail, from the staging to the number of musicians onstage, changes to fit the era it is portraying.

"The things that stood out in Elvis' career, that is what we will be showing. And, we have Ann-Margret. That is the icing on the cake."

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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