Venue: Centennial Theatre, North Vancouver
Date: 8 January 2004 8.00pm

Reviewer: John Jane







Wally Teimer
Wally Tiemer is Elvis

It was obviously no coincidence that Wally Tiemer chose January 8, 2004 - the sixty-ninth anniversary of the birth of Elvis Aaron Presley - to launch his high-energy tribute show at North Vancouver’s Centennial Theatre.

Part concert, part theatre, Tiemer’s two-hour, Vegas style spectacle is a six act production that spans the late King’s twenty year career. Teimer plays the post army-service Elvis himself, which covers the last two thirds of the show. He may not be the best known Elvis impersonator, but he acts and sings the part with more relevance than exploitation. It is obvious that Tiemer respects the music of Presley.

In the first two acts which deal with Elvis’ early career as a Sun label recording artist and his subsequent roles in B movies, Teimer gets help from understudy Dean Z. Being just average height with a slim build, Dean Z bears little physical resemblance to the real King. He does, however, pull off the younger Presley’s shy charm in performing songs like ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, Love Me Tender’ and ‘G.I. Blues’.

Each act is separated with a recorded commentary by local legend Red Robinson accompanied by still photographs of Presley’s live performances projected onto a monochrome backdrop. Robinson’s comments were informative but technicians seemed to experience difficulties in synchronizing the images with the dialogue.

In Act Three we see and hear featured performer Tiemer on stage for the first time as ’the comeback’ Elvis dressed in black leather. His strong backing group now enlarged to nine plus two female back-up singers from the original four musicians.





Elvis impersonators are generally no better than their voice. Fortunately, Tiemer is blessed with a similarly pleasant baritone voice as that of his icon, delighting the crowd with his first delivery 'All Shook Up' quickly followed by a medley of classic hits that included ‘Little Sister’ and a rejuvenated 'A Little Less Conversation'.

Tiemer is especially outstanding on the Gospel segment of the show. He was joined on stage by a nine member Gospel choir for the beautifully rendered ‘American Trilogy’ and ‘Amazing Grace’. Gospel was Elvis' favourite form of music and many of his fans believed that eventually Elvis might have turned to the genre full-time.

Lead guitarist Dan Hare and Andy Smythe on keyboards were stellar in leading the band through a panoptic repertoire of Presley’s musical career.

Both performers engaged an exuberant audience; women outnumbered men by about two-to-one, and there was some good-natured banter. But, unlike the real Elvis, they didn’t leave the building when the show was over. Instead, they greeted visitors in the lobby, posing for pictures and signing autographs.

The Real Elvis Presley

Many of those in the audience were not necessarily Wally Tiemer fans - perhaps not even Elvis Presley fans -but more likely fans of Rock ‘n’ Roll nostalgia.

Elvis Gold - The Legend Lives On continues on January 9 at the Abbey Arts Theatre, January 10 at the Bell Center and January 11 at the Gateway Theatre.

© 2004 John Jane