The kitsch came alive again Saturday at Charleston's Municipal Auditorium, where Elvis recreator Wade Cummins joined the West Virginia Symphony for a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the King of Rock and Roll.Cummins
, known as Elvis Wade, has been impersonating the charismatic rock icon since 1968.
Reportedly using orchestration from Presley's own concert tours, Cummins
does an almost frightening job of re-creating the glitz and glamour of Presley's Vegas-style stage shows in all their over-produced glory.
Multiple costume changes, self-deprecating banter with the audience, gyrations and all, Cummins
almost makes you believe he
is Elvis.Members of the audience, some of whom saw Presley in his
last Charleston appearance before his
death in 1977, seemed suitably impressed.
My 12-year-old daughter, Morganna, however, was at a loss.
"This is really stupid," she
said, not long after Cummins
showed up in his
first fringed, white rhinestone jumpsuit and shiny shoes.
spent much of the first set lost somewhere in the mushy mix, practically unintelligible one moment and booming the next.
On some numbers, it was only the fact that everyone already knew all of the words that made it possible to figure out where he
was in the song.First set highlights included hammed-up performances of Presley classics "Teddy Bear," "Don't Be Cruel" and the marvelously over-produced "Suspicious Minds."Cummins
broke character only a few times.
You guessed it - Cummins
was soon back on stage, proclaiming himself to be just a "hunka hunka burnin' love."
Kinda makes you glad the '70s are over, doesn't it?