A week in show business - On the road with the ghost of Elvis, continued 

Posh Salon, where stylist Jessie will make Cork’s wild two-month growth of white hair into an Elvis-like updo. There will be fat sideburns, and the producer’s wife has given me a can of white hair powder to make them really stand out. Spraying with a handmade template triangular sideburns on Cork’s face appeals to the artist in me.

(Jessie tells us she’s leaving the following morning for Mexico to be the stylist for a zombie movie—from Elvis to zombies!)

4:30 p.m. – 51 hours to SHOWTIME

Master impressionist and comedian Tony D’Andrea is in the showroom watching the rehearsal.

Producer GT to shuffling old Elvis: “Don’t make me send Tony D’Andrea up there to show you where center stage is.”

In Rendezvous With the King, the ghost of Elvis comes back to advise the young Elvis tribute artist to “update your act, son. That’s what I’d have done.” It’s a high concept story line created by Greg Thompson.

Day three, Wednesday, 1 p.m. – 30.5  hours to SHOWTIME!

Old El was awake again at the crack of dawn, worrying, worrying, worrying…

The rehearsals are going well. Very fun to hear everyone banter back and forth with off-script quips. 

Producer GT’s script note to old Elvis: “Now you need to pause here because there will be applause—something you may not have been familiar with in your career—and then deliver that line.”

Vicki, the wardrobe lady, puts cue lines on white paper along the stage side of the footlights so Cork can follow the story line. But old El is still flustered and having trouble with the flow. He’s so afraid of letting everyone down—especially Greg Thompson—that in the middle of the rehearsal he almost has a meltdown.

Producer GT to the rescue. “We’ll wire your ear and Carolyn can feed you the lines from backstage.” Old El is visibly relieved. “She’ll save your ass,” Thompson adds, “for about the fiftieth time.”

(Rats! Now I have to really work. And I won’t be able to enjoy the full show from the audience view.)

The backstage crew sets up a lighted music stand for the script with a microphone wired to the earpiece old El will wear. The music stand isn’t too stable because the floor seems to slope. One of the stage crew guys explains, “That’s because in the olden days this area used to be a parking garage, before they built Sammy’s Showroom.”

After the first rehearsal we enter the elevator to go to our 16th floor room with a bellman carrying a gift basket. We chit-chat, make the usual "is that for me?" joke. He gets off on our floor and heads down the hall. We see him stop in front of our door!

It’s an opening night congratulatory gift basket from our comedian friend, Jeff Wayne

And it’s all CHOCOLATE! Chocolate candies, chocolate bars, gourmet hot chocolate mixes, chocolate coffee—just the drugs I need. I had no idea      CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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