Oh Stage West, your buffet will be my undoing! Just for fun I went through the list of selections offered and out of a possible fifty one items I tried twenty three, six of which were desserts! For once I consider myself lucky to have an allergy to garlic or who knows how the numbers might have tallied. Truly memorable for me were the Tempura Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Rolls with Togarashi Aioli, the Grilled Gourmet Mushroom Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Barbequed St. Louis Ribs and the Cold Boiled JUMBO Shrimp. Where do they get those shrimp?
Legends of Rock ‘N” Roll showcases four artists that made a huge impact on the music world in very different ways. First up: Al Braatz portraying Buddy Holly – and he nailed it! His looks, voice, mannerisms and spending a lot of time sliding across the stage on his knees truly re-created the fun and feel of his time. It was obvious that the whole room loved hearing hits such as Peggy Sue, Rave On, Everyday and That’ll Be The Day.
Gaelan Beatty was next on the stage portraying Neil Diamond and there were times when I almost thought he was the real thing! Maybe it was Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show that did it for me as I’ve always loved that song, or was it Kentucky Woman, Sweet Caroline or Cracklin’ Rose? Gaelan’s entire performance sizzled with energy and enthusiastic audience participation, and he really could hit those signature Neil Diamond low notes.
Act Two and Tom Jones! I remember the excitement when my mom and her neighbor went to see Tom Jones in Calgary many years ago, and watching him on TV was just part of weekly life on our Haysboro street. Luke Marty certainly has the moves to rival the original if memory serves! We were treated to Help Yourself, Green Green Grass of Home, Delilah and It’s Not Unusual just to name a few. He was great fun and I think even the men were captivated!
And finally, Elvis hit the stage dressed in leather, dancing to the Jailhouse Rock and the theatre was rocking! After spending ten years as an Elvis Tribute Artist Matthew Lawrence has the timing, voice and “Elvis-ness” perfected, whether he is portraying the younger version of Elvis or the white jumpsuit clad Elvis of his Las Vegas performances. Some of the selections he performed were Love Me Tender, Burning Love, Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love (we all did!), Suspicious Minds and my favorite: Viva Las Vegas. He had infectious energy and so much charm!
All four performers were accompanied by an outstanding three piece band and two very lovely backup singers/dancers: Chelsey Duplak and Tiera Watts, both beautiful singers in their own right and exhibiting boundless energy. Although this performance has a small cast they are able to produce a huge sound throughout an uplifting evening filled with fun. As we left Stage West nibbling on chocolate covered florentines the cast was waiting for us in the lobby as one last treat!
Legends of Rock ‘N’ Roll can be seen at Stage West until September 4th, so put on your buffet pants and make sure you don’t miss this one!