by Christina Kallery
With the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elvis Presley's death fast approaching, opportunities to commemorate in style seem limitless. You could don a Priscilla-style black wig and light a gigantic bust-of-Elvis candle; get drunk and entertain friends with the King's mangled version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" from the Vegas recordings ("The stage is bare, and I'm standing there . . . without any hair . . . and if you won't come back to me, aw, to hell with ya!"); or grow a formidable pompadour, rent a pink Cadillac, and drive to Graceland. Or you could just head down to Ypsilanti's Frog Island Park, Riverside Park, and Depot Town on Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13.
The third annual Michigan Elvisfest is the next best thing to seeing the King in the flesh. The extravaganza boasts a full weekend of tribute acts, games, food, and fun. Plus, Elvi sightings will be at an all-time high. A smorgasbord of impersonators will span the many-splendored stages of the Pompadoured One's hallowed career. Pelvis-shakin' 1950s Elvis, Clambake-era Elvis, leather-clad '68 Comeback Special Elvis, sequined jumpsuited Elvis it's got 'em all. The music ranges from early Sun Studios material to impassioned and anthemic "My Way" renditions to gospel numbers.
The Elvi themselves come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Performances can be rockin', moving, sexy, bizarre, or eerily convincing each paying a unique homage to the King. All told, it's even more fun than lounging in your jungle room and blowing your TV set to smithereens with a revolver.
Last year's standout was Leo Days, who did an amazing '68 Comeback Special Elvis (complete with leather pants and jacket despite the midsummer mugginess) and who was particularly dreamy. He so effectively channeled the King's lady-killing charisma that during a soulful rendering of "Can't Help Falling in Love" a parade of blushing young girls (and the occasional rambunctious middle-age woman) approached the stage to hand him a rose or
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