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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hey, these guys all seem a bit familiar…

"Legends of Rock 'N' Roll"
Stage West Calgary
July 1 - Sept 4, 2016

Full Cast - photo courtesy Stage West Calgary

Stage West Calgary has a brand-new show onstage, and you may recognize a few of the faces behind the iconic songs.

The 2016 version of the popular tribute show Legends of Rock “n” Roll delivers reasonable facsimiles of Buddy Holly, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley - the first presentation ran some 10 years ago.

Al Braatz as Buddy Holly - courtesy Stage West Calgary

Getting off to a rip-roaring start, Al Braatz brought the songbook of Buddy Holly out with a whole lot of authenticity. He came closest with his rendition of It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, which really captured Holly’s marriage of rock, country and strings for that particular track.
Gaelan Beatty as Neil Diamond - courtesy Stage West Calgary

Following Braatz, Gaelan Beatty relived some of Neil Diamond’s biggest fan favourites, with his closest hit to the bulls-eye being the medley including Soolaimon/Play Me. The audience kicked in most enthusiastically for Sweet Caroline, not much unlike they do for the real deal. 

Tiera Watts & Chelsey Duplak - courtesy Stage West Calgary

Backing up the actors right onstage, the house band led by Konrad Pluta did not miss a beat on these all too familiar selections, no big surprise as these musicians are always top shelf. Providing the icing on the cake the show also features a pair of background vocalists and dancers, Chelsey Duplak, and Tiera Watts - each having a few moments of their own to showcase, which they certainly did handily. 
Luke Marty as Tom Jones - courtesy Stage West Calgary
After the break, it was time for ‘Tom Jones’ to hit the stage, played by Luke Marty. Like his fellow cast members, there were moments he hit the mark near perfectly. For me, that was on Love Me Tonight, capturing more than enough of the legend’s essence on that song.
Matthew Lawrence as Elvis - courtesy Stage West Calgary
Closing the show it was time for The King, and Matthew Lawrence tackled the role of Elvis. His vocal range lent itself best for Jailhouse Rock, but he had success with American Trilogy as well - powerful stuff that track. 

Director Liz Gilroy and co-creator Konrad Pluta have done a fine job of recreating the costumes and overall feel of the artists and their eras, so if you have a connection to some of the biggest hits of all time, you’re bound to find plenty of familiar songs to sing and clap along with in this presentation.

I’ll have a link here when my official Calgary Herald review runs, with even more insight.

Legends of Rock ’n’ Roll runs to Sept 4, at Stage West Calgary.
3.5 out of 5 stars