Talking Music: Mario Kombou Discusses The Elvis Years at Newport Riverfront

65 years after a young Elvis Presley walked into the offices of Sun Records with a guitar and a dream, the spirit of the King of Rock n’ Roll is kept alive by one of the most successful tributes of all time. Touring for over a decade, The Elvis Years plays Newport on November 14.

The Elvis Years is a concert production telling the story of Elvis through the years. The show features original lead of Jailhouse Rock in the West End, Mario Kombou and his incredible band, led by the award-winning, legendary producer and musical director David Mackay.

With a world class cast, authentic costumes and rare film footage, The Elvis Years features more than 50 of the King’s greatest hits including ‘Hound Dog’, ‘It’s Now or Never’, ‘Suspicious Minds’ ‘American Trilogy’ and many more, as well as lesser known tracks such as ‘Rock A Hula Baby’ and ‘Bossa Nova Baby’.

The Elvis Years  plays Newport on November 14 2019The Elvis Years  plays Newport on November 14 2019

The Elvis Years plays Newport on November 14 2019

Andy Howells recently put questions to star of The Elvis Years, Mario Kombou.

The Elvis Years is coming to Newport this November, how does it differ from other Elvis shows?

In The Elvis Years we recreate many iconic moments from Elvis life and along with projection and corresponding costumes we perform them on stage. From the very beginning in Sun studios, the Ed Sullivan show, the army years, the Frank Sinatra special but to name a few.

The show takes the audience right through all these moments and more all the way through the 68-comeback special and finishing off with the iconic Las Vegas concert.

Who is the show aimed at?

The show is aimed at everybody from young and old. As it’s not your typical Las Vegas concert type show. It tells the story of Elvis amazing career.

The best compliment we usually get is from people who are not necessarily Elvis fans but were dragged along by their partners and after the show they tell us this, but they say that they thoroughly enjoyed the show.

The Elvis Years  plays Newport on November 14 2019.The Elvis Years  plays Newport on November 14 2019.

The Elvis Years plays Newport on November 14 2019.

What’s your experience of playing the King in the past?

It’s always been a fulfilling experience playing the part of Elvis.  I’m a massive Elvis fan so to get to perform the songs I love to an audience who share the same love and passion as I do is like being a kid in a candy store!

Elvis career spanned just over 21 years including many singles, albums and films, how do you go about choosing something for everyone in this show?

It’s difficult trying to cram enough different material into the show because even though Elvis passed away so young, he recorded over 700 songs so it’s very hard trying to decide which ones to include. Of course, we have to include the biggest hits, but we also like to include some lesser known songs to keep the show varied.

What is your favourite moment of the Elvis Years?

I enjoy the new segments of the show such as the king Creole songs but there is no better feeling than at the end of the show when we sing American Trilogy and the cape unfolds at the end and the amazing standing ovation from the audience.  It shows us that we’ve achieved what we set out to do.

The Elvis Years  plays Newport on November 14 2019.The Elvis Years  plays Newport on November 14 2019.

The Elvis Years plays Newport on November 14 2019.

Elvis Presley’s popularity continues to endure decades after his death, why do you think that is?

I think because Elvis meant so much to so many people and he brought so many people together from all over the world and created friendships and bonds with people who share a common love for the man that it’s impossible that he will ever be forgotten.

What do you hope audiences will enjoy most about the show?

I hope the audience will see that what we do we do because we are all big Elvis fans and they see that it’s a heartfelt tribute. I hope the show will trigger some happy memories and that people walk out of the theatre with the songs still playing in their heads!

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