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  • Writer's pictureCeslie Parker-Waller

A Summer with Elvis Presley in Amish Country

Remember how in my last blog post I laid out what I thought my upcoming year was looking like? Well in a surprising turn of events, I received an offer to join the regional premiere of Elvis: A Musical Revolution at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. Thanks to a text from a friend of mine who is also in the cast, Josey Miller, I submitted my materials and quickly packed and flew from Chiefs Kingdom to Amish Country here in Lancaster, Pennsylvania!

By the way, if the name "Josey Miller" sounds familiar, you might recognize her as Betty Jean (the redhead in green) from BHP's production of The Marvelous Wonderettes with me back in 2021. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Flash forward to the present and we are already 5 performances into our 5 week run. In this show, I portray the character Betty- a record shop owner off of Beale Street who introduces a young Elvis Presley to Black musicians who had a clear impact on his career, such as Roy Brown, Jackie Brenston, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Other than providing records, I also appear in other scenes in different ensemble roles such as a Backup Singer, a personal assistant on a movie set, a secretary, and an undercover horny nun (you really have to come see the show to understand that last one). As I have said before, I really enjoy working on new pieces and getting to play around in the creative process to find the characters and their stories before we share a final product with audiences. This show has been a blast and I am extremely grateful to be a part of this insanely talented cast and crew and creative team. Jamming out to the songs that made Elvis' career with these people each performance is an absolute party!

Cast and crew on opening night with playwright Sean Cercone

If you wish to see this party in action, hurry and get your tickets as we are selling out fast! You can go to the Dutch Apple's website here to buy tickets and/or see the virtual playbill. Thank you for reading this update and I'll be sure to post pictures from the show soon!

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