Friday, October 25, 2002

Rick Alviti, left, impersonates Elvis in his latter years in "The Three Faces of Elvis." The show also features Jamie Aaron Kelley and Leo Days. The Jordanaires, the group that sang backup for many of Elvis' recordings, will also do backup for the trio.

‘Elvis’ rocks at Shell

Tim Ryan

If you're lonesome tonight, hanging out in a heartbreak hotel with a suspicious mind, 'cause you got some burnin' love and you're hopin' for a good-luck charm, but all that's out there is a hard-headed woman, don't worry -- just loosen up your hips because not one, but three Elvises are on their way.

"The Three Faces of Elvis" show hits the Waikiki Shell stage tomorrow night featuring singers portraying the King during three stages of his long career. It's a triple-play of songs and pelvic thrusts, with enough hair gel, tight pants and snarling lips to perk up a wilting plumeria.

Producer Ron Krutz came up with the threesome idea for the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death this past August. Looking for a realistic tribute, he shied away from the usual one-horse impersonators, saying he didn't want to see a 50-year-old try to squeeze himself into tight pants and shake his moneymaker.

"It's just too disgusting," Krutz said. "At the same time, a 20-year-old kid just doesn't have what it takes to bring the more mature Elvis to life."

The show is done like a movie on the life of a famous personality. Jamie Aaron Kelley is a 22-year-old performer who has been doing Elvis tunes since he was 4 years of age, and he'll be doing the early Elvis. (Kelley currently holds an award from Graceland for being able to sing all of Elvis' songs from memory.)

Leo Days, who was born in Honolulu, plays the motion-picture Elvis.

"He's got darker hair," Kurtz said. "Lots of oil, the black-grease look."

Days became an avid Elvis fan at the age of 3. At 15 he was singing in karaoke clubs, then started his "Honor of Elvis" Tribute Shows.

"By this point, Elvis was getting it together," Krutz said. "He wasn't the embarrassed boy from Tupelo anymore."

Then there's the latter-day Elvis with Rick Alviti, 38 -- the same age Elvis was when he performed the famous "Aloha from Hawaii" from the then-Honolulu International Center Arena. The trained actor has performed in numerous motion pictures including "Extreme Justice," "Lambada" and "Elvis is Alive." Alviti is a dead ringer as the glitziest Elvis of them all, the gold-chained, unbuttoned-jumpsuit Las Vegas Elvis.

"I didn't used to look like Elvis," Alviti said. "I was an actor in Hollywood, had long hair and a beard. I was a singing bartender. Then one day I cut my hair and shaved off my beard. If I had a dollar for every time someone said, 'You should be Elvis,' I'd be rich."

He watched thousands of old movies and music videos of the King in action. He invested in a couple of jumpsuits and a few gold chains to hang around his neck, smoothed his moves, slicked back his hair, learned to pull up the corner of his lips, and with a "Thank you very much," he was Elvis.

"I still watch his concerts," Altivi said. "After all this time, you still find something new, hopefully something you can put in your show to make it closer to the real thing. I don't want to be Elvis, I just want to be as close as I can get."

An addition to the show is the Jordanaires, the group that provided backup vocals to many of Elvis' recordings up to 1970.

The Sweet Sensations, a female singing group who backed Elvis in his Las Vegas days, do their own tribute to the girl groups of the era.

'The Three Faces of Elvis'

Featuring Jamie Aaron Kelley, Rick Alviti, Leo Days, the Jordanaires and the Sweet Sensations

Where: Waikiki Shell
When: 6:30 p.m. tomorrow
Tickets: $15, $25 and $35
Call: 591-2211 or 526-4400

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