Review: Love Me Tender, Opera House, Manchester
It’s got rock ‘n’ roll, it’s got a host of classic Elvis tunes, it’s got a Shakespeare plot and there’s no doubting that Love Me Tender has gotta whole lotta fun.
With stunning sets, superb choreography and those timeless songs, this production had an appreciative audience all shook up and shouting for more.
The plot is based loosely on the Bard’s Twelfth Night, so there is guaranteed fun and frolics with cross-dressing, and mistaken identity hilarity.
The story centres on rock’n’roller roustabout Chad, descending on an American town where “loud music, public necking and tight pants” are banned.
Ben Lewis is excellent in the role of the rebel with the cause of breathing some life into the sleepy town.
Shaun Williamson, fresh from his triumph in Anything Goes also impresses Jim, a widower whose daughter Natalie, the town mechanic, falls for Chad. Laura Tebbutt knocks out some of those great tunes as daughter Natalie, who cross-dresses to get closer to Chad.
But for me, it was Mica Paris as bar owner Sylvia, the mother of rebellious Lorraine challenging the town’s strict segregation laws, whose accomplished vocals steal the show.