Artpark's musical revue "Idols of the King" is a lighthearted romp that tracks the lives of the outrageous fans of the "King of Rock 'n' Roll."
It is written by Ronnie Claire Edwards, star of television's "The Waltons," and Allen Crowe, writer for "Evening Shade" and "Hearts Afire." Brian Mysliwy and Maureen Anne Porter play the numerous touched, touching and comic fans on their way to an Elvis concert. It starts with Darla and Ralph, a couple who meet in line outside Graceland waiting to pay their last respects.
Darla has just walked out on her job as a cashier at a Piggily Wiggily and driven 12 hours to Memphis; Ralph has adorned himself in all his Elvis memorabilia, including an ersatz pair of Pat Boone white bucks dyed with grape juice to look like blue suede shoes.
Between scenes, Elvis, portrayed by impersonator Scot Bruce and backed by a live band, performs 16 of his hit songs, including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Love Me Tender" and "Jailhouse Rock." His less-is-more approach to Presley's distinctive style is refreshing.
What is disturbing or engaging -- depending on your point of view -- is the tragic loneliness that lies just below the surface of these zany characters. There's a fragile waitress with a sick child whom Elvis helps, and a spinster piano teacher who escapes her mother's oppressiveness by fantasizing that Elvis is courting her. Most of the zealots are just completely bonkers, however, such as the conspiracy nut who is convinced that dentists, in league with the government, are inserting spy devices in tooth fillings.
As touching and humorous as the characters are -- and both Porter and Mysliwy are excellent in the quick-paced revue -- the audience screamed and cheered whenever Bruce sang one of the King's anthems. His voice, leather outfits and Las Vegas jumpsuits tickled the audience. In the end, fans of Elvis will love this show simply because the music is what speaks loudest and most clearly.
"Idols of the King" is on the Main Stage of Artpark, 150 S. Fourth St., Lewiston. Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.. Tickets are $15 to $29.50. For information, call 754-4375.