In the past half century or so, popular culture has been littered with rock stars. Those larger-than-life personalities with the musical prowess of a god and the irresistible charms of a kind-hearted Medusa have become ingrained into our culture. It’s easy to forget it wasn’t too long ago when there was only one rock star. The king of rock ‘n’ roll himself, Elvis Presley, was the very first.

His music was beloved and his stardom seemed infinite. His performances though, were the stuff of legend. Those who saw him live told the story for decades after Elvis left the building. Teens lucky enough to get tickets would become schoolyard heroes, older sisters would share posters and records and mothers would sit their children down to listen.

Steve Michaels brings the legendary rock star back to life at the Rose Theatre.

Michaels was raised in Milton, Ontario by just such a mother. At an early age he was made to watch Aloha from Hawaii, Elvis’ record-breaking 1973 television concert and his life was changed forever. By high school, he was winning lip-sync contests as Elvis and it wasn’t long before he was serving food and drinks as Elvis at the local Jack Astor’s. After visiting the world famous Collingwood Elvis Festival and entering the impersonation contest, real offers to portray the King around the province started rolling in. By the time he was crowned Images of the King World Champion in Memphis, his future was set.

“Twenty-plus years later, Steve travels the globe as Elvis,” explains his longtime friend and manager, Mark Erwin. “He is widely recognized as the foremost Elvis tribute artist in the world.”

Elvis: An American Trilogy comes to the Rose Theatre on May 11 with Michaels as Elvis.

 “It’s not just his uncanny resemblance,” says Erwin. “His voice, moves and every nuance in his repertoire makes Michael’s a dead ringer and will have you doing a double take.”

The Brampton show comes on the heels of Michaels performing for four months in the United Kingdom to rave reviews. An American Trilogy stands out because it recreates three separate eras of Presley’s performances. 

“Steve has put together the most unique and fluid concert that showcases each decade that Elvis performed,” says Erwin. “One night on one stage, 50s, 60s and 70s. The style, costumes and even the change in voice is captured.”

Elvis performed only five times over three nights in Canada, twice in Toronto and Vancouver, once in Ottawa. All of those shows were in 1957, so Canadian fans never got to experience the more developed Elvis performances of his later career. With Michael’s performance, audiences can get as close as possible to the real thing.  

Michaels has written, directed and performed in more than a dozen different shows as Elvis in front of just over a million audience members.

“Those in Brampton who have not seen Steve before will unequivocally believe they just saw Elvis,” says Erwin.

Tickets for the May 11 show of Elvis: An American Trilogy at The Rose are available by calling 905-874-2800 or by visiting rosetheatre.ca.