The unusual two-hour show puts a '70s-era Presley on a 24-foot screen on stage as an orchestra and backup singers - some of whom toured with him - perform live to the late singer's recorded vocals, explains producer Stig Edgren, who has also put together such big shows as Pope John Paul II's Mass in Central Park and President Bill Clinton's first inaugural ball.
Why does this show work?
It works because it's the closest thing anybody will ever get to seeing Elvis Presley live if they have never seen him live before. The reason I say that is because of the way the stage is set up, the instrumentation, the orchestra size, the band members. There's a really emotional connection, too, of seeing footage of Elvis on stage with his bandmates and then also seeing the bandmates today playing the exact same instruments and the same licks.
Do audience members ever cry?
Absolutely, yes, quite a few of them, including me sometimes. . . . It's a very emotional time at the end of the show. It's almost like the crowd is saying goodbye to Elvis.
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Has a fan ever rushed the stage?
At the end of the show, some fanatical types of fans will rush the stage to shake hands with James Burton or Joe Guercio Presley's orchestra leader]. They want to touch the people who actually stood next to Elvis. But nobody's ever jumped up and tried to grab the screen. If I told you about the show in Amsterdam, you wouldn't quite believe it.
What happened there?
They were trying to climb up. . . . They just wanted to dance. They weren't there to hurt or grab anybody. They were zonked.
How do you handle the handing out of scarves?
We don't. We tried that at one of the anniversary shows. . . . It just didn't feel right. I just didn't want anyone handing them out except for him. . . . You can buy them in the merch stands, though, trust me.
WHAT "Elvis Presley in Concert"
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan
INFO $55 and $75; 866-858-0008, radiocity.com