Elvis impersonator Shawn Klush
wowed a packed house at the Capital Centre in North Bay last night with his spot on delivery and uncanny resemblance to the King.
Klush's opening act, Pete Paquette
, an Ottawa native, who has been performing as an ETA in Canada and the USA since 1995, started the evening off with a 50 minute set that had the audience wondering if this is the lead up, how good is the main attraction?
Performing some of Elvis's earlier material, Paquette, easily charmed the crowd with his professional routine and boyish good looks. First place winner at the Collingwood Elvis Festival
on several occasions, Pauquette was more than up to the task of bringing back memories of a young Elvis remembered by so many of the grey haired patrons at the show.
Also performing were the Sweet Inspirations
, the backup singers who teamed with Elvis from 1969 until 1978. The original group was founded by Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney and her sister Dee Dee Warwick, mother of Dionne.
When Elvis arrived from behind the audience to the familiar theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey
and segued into CC Rider, they could have hardly been prepared for the visual and auditory effect of Klush resplendent in a trademark white, jewel-encrusted jump suit, delivering an eerie flesh and blood replica of the King himself. Perfect in pitch, voice and mannerisms is seemed as if Elvis had come back to entertain once more.
Interacting with the audience throughout the show by distributing a myriad of scarves carefully draped around his neck by an assistant and then delivered to waiting ladies usually with an accompanying buss on the cheek or kiss on the lips, Klush kept patrons involved from beginning to end. Dozens of teddy bears were thrown to the audience during his rendition of.... guess which song with the largest stuffed bear being saved for a young boy sitting in the front row.
Klush stunned the crowd with his powerful voice, evident in such songs as "Hurt"
and his rendition of "My Way".
An after the show appearance by cast members in the theatre lobby gave patrons a chance to meet the performers and get the memorabilia they had purchased autographed by them.
A great night of entertainment by a talented group of professionals.