Elvis Presley’s music did not die with him at his death in 1977, and neither the desire to imitate the star. At “The Kings’ death, there were 170 people who imitated him around the world – today the figure is 250,000 people. From Las Vegas’ glittering boulevards, to event facilities in Sweden, the lit streets of Tokyo and in the sunlight in Cyprus – they are everywhere. Cypriot Mario Kombou is one of those with the “profession” ETA (Elvis Tribute Acts) – but he is not just one in the crowd of all white suits with wide trousers, big belts and long sideburns. At a performance at Elvis’s home Graceland, he received the award “The best Elvis since Elvis” by none other than Elvis’s cousin Donna Presley, which gave a boost to his career. The 2nd and 3rd of October, he will perform in Cyprus.
Mario grew up with Elvis’s music as his mother was a big fan. When he was seventeen years old he began to perform in a restaurant to earn some extra money, and that’s when he first saw one of Elvis’s lookalikes. He decided, right there and then, that was what he wanted to do. Now the Cypriot has outcompeted many of the American copies after being awarded the “The best Elvis since Elvis,” and his career has now given him the leading role character in the musical Jailhouse Rock.
The Jailhouse Rock musical was played in London in the spring, and also in other places around the UK. Based on the film from 1957 where Elvis played the main role, Mario now played the same Vince Everett. The musical contains about twenty songs, including some of Elvis’s big hits “Blue Suede Shoes” “Burning Love” and “Suspicious Minds”.
“I read up on everything, listened to all of his records. I also liked that he had humour and used to do parodies of himself, but as the big fan I am, I mostly admire his great talent, and the tremendous energy he put into every performances on stage,” says Mario.
Friday, October 2, he appears at Pissouri Amphitheare in Limassol and Saturday, October 3, at Tala Amphitheatre in Paphos. Tickets and information can be obtained by phoning: 0035-79-6616256.