Heartbreak Hotel – Broadway Playhouse – 175 E Chestnut St., Water Tower Pl. Chicago, IL – (312) 977-1700, broadwayinchicago.com
Heartbreak Hotel,” the biographical Elvis musical from the creator of the Broadway shows “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Baby It’s You,” begins with a spirited gospel performance in an African-American church. Point: Elvis became a superstar only because he was a white kid who sounded like he was black.
That inconvenient truth about the forced marriage of rockabilly and rhythm and blues has been either ignored or papered over by any number of other estate-authorized, Elvis-themed entertainments. Total running time: 2 hours with a 15 min. intermission.
Q-tips say: See it! If you can overlook a very few scenes about race, etc., you will enjoy Heartbreak Hotel. The second half was better than the first half of the play. Eddie Clendening, who portrayed Elvis Presley did an outstanding job. There were two encores by Elvis at the end. The crowd was on their feet and clapping, singing along. You have to like some of the older crowd because they actually know these songs. The play takes place during 1954 to 1957 in TN and a few other locations. The entire cast was very talented.