Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

March 2, 2012

Forever Kings

CityStage, Springfield, MA
through March 4, 2012
by Eric Sutter

What a lucky day to view not one but two tributes to popular music with the bravado of Matt Lewis in tribute to Elvis Presley and the soul of Edward Moss with tribute to Michael Jackson. Phenomenal dancers superbly complimented both performers. Matt Lewis began with a clutch of older Elvis tunes interspersed with period pieces. Fun was the word from the get go with "Blue Suede Shoes" which thrilled the audience as Ed Sullivan show clips enhanced the sensuality. By "Love Me Tender" chests were heaving from heated audience interaction. The "Jailhouse Rock" scene spelled trouble as four dancers synergized with prison uniformed Lewis with jazz hands all around. In the '68 comeback in black leather Lewis rocked blues tune "One Night."

A nice ballad, "If I Can Dream," prepared the way for Edward Moss as Michael Jackson who upped the energy with his "Dangerous" persona on songs "Stop Pressuring Me" and "You Want To Be Starting Something." "Thriller" took the swagger right to the top with a climax that produced four ghoulish dancers who groped on to the stage awkwardly around Moss' center stage gyrations. A soulfully sung "Man In The Mirror" featured a backstage Moss surrounded by dancers up front.

Act II captured the white jump suited King in Vegas with a fiery medley of old and new. The cabaret style slickness of C.C. Rider exhilarated towards the time period...he supplied a lingering warmth to "Are You Lonesome Tonight" which fueled a swampy "Polk Salad Annie" which satisfied. A bluesy update of "Houndog" packed an emotional punch that set up the thrill of a dramatic take of "Suspicious Minds." The energy was exciting by the patriot's dream of "American Trilogy."

Moss danced back to the 70's with the Jackson oldie "The Love You Save." More tricky dancing brought "Beat It" center stage with a simulated fight scene that simmered hot. The uncanny resemblance to Michael Jackson was strongly evident on "Billie Jean" and it's smooth moonwalk dance. The great entertainment in the heart of downtown Springfield ended with a "Black and White" finale which featured both performers in traded vocals on the chorus line. See this show... it will bring you up!