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“Idols of the King” Reigns at Foothills Theatre

Idols of the King
“Idols of the King” is a play on words that seems to make sense. At least it does when you read the praise heaped upon this homage to Elvis Presley and his devoted fans by various newspapers around the country. If the critics and the show’s past successes are any indication, “Idols of the King,” featuring actor/singer Jack Foltyn, will rock the rafters of the Worcester Foothills Theatre from the night it opens on January 10 through its closing performance on February 1.

Jack Foltyn

Jack Foltyn

Directed by Foothills’ Artistic Director Russell Garrett, “Idols of the King” is, in Garrett’s words, “a lighthearted celebration of the fans of Elvis and the people who have been touched or influenced by him, either in person or as a celebrity. Elvis performs in concert throughout the show with a live band singing all the big hits: ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ ‘Love Me Tender,’ ‘Hound Dog’…

The show is co-written by Ronnie Claire Edwards and Allen Crowe. Edwards owns an impressive resume as an actor himself, appearing for a decade as Corabeth Godsey on “The Waltons,” as well as on many network television programs (including “Designing Women”) and on film with Paul Newman in “Nobody’s Fool” and Clint Eastwood in “The Dead Pool.” She’s mined the bio-musical lode previously with her “Cowboy,” about the Western painter Charles Russell, plus she’s authored “The Last of the Honkytonk Angels,” and a cookbook appropriately titled “Sugar and Grease(paint).” Crowe was the continuity director of “Designing Women” and writer for “Evening Shade,” CBS’s Burt Reynolds/Marilu Henner sitcom.

The star of “Idols” is Mr. Foltyn, who has played The King role (in several different Elvis-based shows, including “Coming Home, A Tribute to Elvis,” a production he created, co-choreographed, and starred in) to accolades elsewhere, including in California, where he worked on the show with Russell Garrett. When asked in an interview in the McKinney Courier Gazette where his Elvis mojo came from, he attributed it to his mother dressing him in an Elvis costume for a fourth grade talent show. “I started strumming an Elvis song on a guitar that I didn’t even know how to play, he said. “And man, older women and younger were just getting on their feet! I thought, ‘This is it.’”

So ~ why this show, for this time, at Foothills? Director Garrett has the answer:

Jack Foltyn on stage

Jack Foltyn on stage

“I chose this show for the season because I love this style and era of music and it’s not often heard on our stage. I also like the characters portrayed in the show, who are often oddball but endearing people. The other main reason I wanted to present it at Foothills is because the
audience has responded very enthusiastically in the past two seasons to shows about iconic music legends (Buddy Holly and the Andrews Sisters), so I wanted to give them another musical legend to celebrate and enjoy.”

Let’s leave the final word to the Daily Oklahoman, which raved:

“Elvis fans, rock ‘n’ roll aficionados, and all those who love good entertainment, run, do not walk, to “Idols of the King.” Once word gets out about this fabulous show… there will not be a seat available. … comic and poignant vignettes … Crisp dialogue, wit and delightful insight … laughs galore …”

Sounds like you can’t help falling in love with “Idols of the King.”

“Idols” runs from January 10, 2009 – February 1, 2009. Meet the Actors Night is Thursday, January 22nd following the 8:00pm show. For show schedule and ticket information, contact the theatre box office at 508-754-4018.

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