‘Elvis People’ will take the stage in Stafford starting April 8

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Fri., Apr. 1, 2011
'Elvis People' cast members Monty Michalec and Steve Diamond wait for play rehearsal to begin. The Stafford Arts Commission production opens April 8 and runs for two consecutive weekends.Photos by Lauri Voter.
'Elvis People' cast members Monty Michalec and Steve Diamond wait for play rehearsal to begin. The Stafford Arts Commission production opens April 8 and runs for two consecutive weekends.Photos by Lauri Voter.

Local Elvis Presley fans will have something to look forward to when the Stafford Arts Commission presents its production of “Elvis People,” by Doug Grissom, on two consecutive weekends, beginning April 8.

Produced and directed by Georgia Michalec, “Elvis People” is a unique play in two acts, with six vignettes per act. The production features a variety of plots that will not only invoke sentiment and inspire laughter in devoted Elvis fans, but that could also entertain not-so-Elvis folks.

“It’s a comedy-drama. It’s very thought-provoking, but at times it’s also very funny. A couple of our actors are comics by profession,” said Michalec, who explained that the Arts Commission prefers to choose plays that are unusual and not commonly seen.

“I think a lot of people that are into Elvis will want to come see this play, because he was an icon,” Michalec added. “My guess is that out of all those vignettes, somebody will find one that they can really relate to.”

Michalec thinks that the vignettes are open to interpretation. Her own interpretation of the structure of the play is that the first act revolves around Elvis when he was alive, and the second act focuses on Elvis after his death.

Presley is not depicted as a character, and there are no Elvis musical numbers performed in any of the vignettes. Instead, a colorful cast of characters will carry out plots to epitomize the essence of Elvis, and the impact he had on the public.

Characters include a professor; a woman who is obsessed with Elvis; a family watching Elvis on “The Ed Sullivan Show”; a grandmother who sees Elvis and takes her story to the press; and a senior-aged mother who is drawn to Graceland. Last but not least, no production about Elvis could be complete without an Elvis impersonator.

The members of the cast are from local towns. Steve Diamond portrays Basil Carmichael, “a professor of American studies at a prominent Midwestern university - Boza Valley State Technical College and Farming Implement University,” who is a brilliant professor about to publish a book which embodies a groundbreaking thesis about the films of Elvis Presley. 

The production will be staged April 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. at the Ben Muzio Town House, 221 East St. (Route 19) in Stafford Springs. Ticket prices are $8 per adult and $5 per senior, and can be purchased in advance by calling 860-684-9500 or 860-684-5211. The play contains adult content and is ideally suited for an audience that is age 18 and older.


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