From humble roots to international fame, Roy Orbison, Connie Francis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley ruled the airwaves during the 1950s and 1960s.
Although musically the world has moved on, these giants of the music industry cemented a place in history with their distinct voices, sound, and style. Re-imagining that nostalgic era is Paquette Productions’s Legends Show — Tributes to Roy, Connie, Jerry & Elvis, coming to the Arden Theatre on Friday, May 20.
“They inspired a generation of people, and they were some of the greatest artists of the 50s and 60s. As artists they left a lasting impression with their music, style, and personality. To this day, people still enjoy the nostalgia,” said Pete Paquette of Paquette Productions.
As show producer, Paquette chose experienced artists he performed with previously.
“The combination works very well as they are from the same era and the music flows very well from one artist to another,” Paquette said. In fact, he performs Elvis during The King’s early Vegas years — the white jumpsuit era, complete with karate chops.
“Elvis returned to Vegas during a 1968 Comeback Special — the one where he was dressed head to toe in black leather. That’s the era [in which] I feel I belong. My voice, my charisma, are two of my best assets. I want to bring back the quality of Elvis's performances from that time and what [made] him so popular."
Paquette believes that to successfully play the Mississippi-based singer, an artist needs confidence and the intuitive ability to understand who Elvis was.
“I don’t play Elvis — 30 per cent is me and 70 per cent is Elvis. For me it’s a blend of my love for Elvis and my interpretation of the feelings Elvis had when singing a song.”
Paquette actually met Wisconsin native Jesse Aron, the tribute show’s Roy Orbison, at an Elvis festival where both singers performed.
“Jesse always had an incredible voice and as it developed, he recognized it suited Roy Orbison very well. He has a great sense of humour and audiences love him. Right from the moment he walks on stage with Only the Lonely, he captures the audience’s attention.”
Canada’s Tribute Queen, Amberley Beatty, is back as Connie Francis, one of America's first female pop icons. Idolized by millions, she sang a string of hits, including Where the Boys Are, Who’s Sorry Now, Your Cheatin’ Heart, Stupid Cupid, and Lipstick on Your Collar.
“I had the privilege of seeing Amberley perform Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. A few years ago, she introduced me to Connie, and I had no doubt she would do a great job. She completely embraces her character, her accent, her tone, her personality. It’s incredible how she gets into character."
And finally, the Texas-born Lance Lipinsky preserves the timeless tradition of American roots through the raucous music of Jerry Lee Lewis and the power of boogie woogie.
“Lance toured as Elvis and sang the music from the Golden Era. He also had the talent to play piano, and he pursued a pathway not everyone can. As Jerry Lee Lewis, he played piano and entertained audiences and performed in the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet. Over the years, he developed a reputation as the ultimate showman.”
This blast from the past sets out to capture the contagious spirit, freewheeling excitement, and thrilling songs from that golden era. The Legends Show starts at 7 p.m. May 20. Tickets are $48 plus fees online at www.stalbert.ca/exp/arden/events/rental-events/ or at the Arden box office 780-459-1542.