Entertainment :: Theatre

Idols of the King

by Drew Jackson
Wednesday Mar 6, 2013
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Jack Foltyn, Morgana Shaw and Michael Corolla in ’Idols of the King’
Jack Foltyn, Morgana Shaw and Michael Corolla in ’Idols of the King’   (Source:Nan Coulter)

Attention: Elvis is in the DFW metroplex. Two completely different shows featuring Elvis Presley debuted this week. Theatre3 presented "Idols of the King" on Monday. And on Tuesday Broadway at the Bass debuted the Fort Worth Premiere of the national tour of "Million Dollar Quartet."

"Idols of the King" is a small light show billed as a "valentine to Elvis Presley’s most devoted fans." It might be better titled as "Geeky Obsessive Fans of the King." And while you can feel a sense of adoration towards Elvis from playwrights Ronnie Claire Edwards and Allen Crowe, the valentine here is more the elementary school construction paper version rather than a heart shaped box of Godiva chocolates.

The construct of the play with music is very simple. Fans who have some remote tangential connection with Elvis either mourn his death or travel to a Vegas concert. Two actors, Morgana Shaw and Michael Corolla play all of the characters. In between the vignettes, Jack Foltyn plays Elvis and sings an Elvis song.

The fabulous Morgana Shaw is a chameleon and is exponentially the best part of this production.

The characters include two strangers standing in line to view Elvis’ dead body. The placing of this vignette is strange because all of the others occur before his death and precedes a Vegas concert.

Some of the other characters include a biker chick and her boyfriend, a Vegas showgirl and an elderly couple trying to make a buck off a toilet they own that Elvis once used. We also have a dentistry obsessed ham radio operator, a flower girl, a lonely piano teacher and a gay party planner.

If this sounds like too much or too odd, it is. The vignettes play like bad "Saturday Night Live" sketches. Corolla holds his own in every scene. But if you’re going to watch a bad "SNL" sketch, you want it to star the fabulous Morgana Shaw. Shaw is a chameleon and is exponentially the best part of this production.

Jack Foltyn makes for a handsome, studly Elvis and his vocals are stronger in the ballads than in the upper-tempo songs. Foltyn is billed as a "Graceland Approved Elvis Artist." Huh? Who knew? His performance is all-vocal and feels like what you would expect to see at a downtown Vegas stage show.

"Idols of the King" runs through March 30 at Theatre3, 2800 Routh Street in Dallas. For info or tickets, call 214-871-3300 or visit www.theatre3dallas.com

Drew Jackson was born in Brooklyn and has been writing ever since he graduated from NYC. He now lives in Dallas happily married to his husband Hugh. Jackson is a familiar fixture on the Dallas Forth Worth theater scene and is currently working on his next play.

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