My mom loves Elvis. She named my sister Lisa Marie. Growing up as a teenager in the 60s it didn’t matter that she was in another country. Elvis was the King, even in Mexico. She just sent me this text:
“Hi June. Today is 39 years since Elvis died.We were going to Mexico, you were 14 months old and we heard the news on the way to Guadalajara.” I have grown up with my mom telling me two important dates annually since I was young. The day Elvis died and the day she married my dad.
Two years ago Darren Lee began performing a Hawaii-themed Elvis show called “Burn’n Love” in Lahaina, Maui. This summer we all went to see Burn’n Love as a belated Mother’s Day gift. There were 19 of us including all the young cousins and we all had a fun and memorable night. My mom sat in the aisle hoping to get a little attention from Darren Lee and to her delight, she did get a hand-shake during one of his performances where he walks up to the audience. He also had a cute “conversation” with her after my mom yelled “I love you Elvis!” during a quiet moment between songs.
I’ve seen the show several times and love it every time! The first time I saw the show when Darren Lee appeared to rise above center-stage on the hydraulic stage floor through a mist of fog, my mom leaned over to me and whispered, “I have the chills.”
These “chills” came even before Darren Lee began to play a single chord on his guitar or sing a note. Watching Elvis come to life was exciting but watching my mom’s expressions throughout the show was priceless. She later told me that she felt like she was watching Elvis.
Darren Lee is not an Elvis impersonator. He does not lip-sync (à la Jimmy Fallon) and pretend to play the guitar. He is an Elvis Tribute Artist. In 1997 on this day he was rated the “# 1 Elvis Tribute Artist in the World” in Memphis, Tennesee. Darren Lee is Elvis. His guitar playing, voice, authentic costumes and signature dance moves bring Elvis back to Hawaii. Energetic dancers move from hula to swing dancing as the world-class musicians and backup singer accompany Darren Lee’s performances.
Audio and video vignettes played during costume changes give the show dimension and provide the audience with the story of Elvis’ love of Hawaii. One portion of the show stood out as a phenomenal display of the talent of Darren Lee and his band. They gathered center stage on chairs to perform in the same style Elvis did in the 1968 television special Elvis.
Burn’n Love is performed in the 680-seat Maui Theater in Lahaina, Maui on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The audience is filled with couples and families with children. Kids 12 and under are free. Learn more at www.BurnnLove.com