by VICTORIA HENLEY
One of the oldest theaters in the Great Smoky Mountains, Memories Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. has produced a bevy of iconic tribute shows, special events, and variety productions throughout the years.
The legendary theater is back, much to the delight of their ardently committed fan base, after a period in which the theater hosted an array of shows.
Proving that they are coming back better, stronger, and bigger than ever, the innovative and creative team at Memories Theater has curated an exquisite production that cmbines elements of classic variety shows, spot on impersonations and a grand scale band, which makes this theater one of the city’s premier destinations for Las Vegas-style entertainment.
I was afforded the exciting opportunity to highlight not one, but two, stellar shows to help ring in the year of 2023.
New Year’s with Elvis and Friends: New Year’s Eve Show:
Memories Theater proved that it was, indeed, the premier place to make memories for the New Year holiday with an action packed, pulse pounding show filled with chart-topping hits spanning a variety of decades and genres, dazzling costumes, and a variety of hors d’oeuvres, both sweet and savory, to whet and satisfy every possible craving.
Each ticket included all-you-can-eat refreshments on a smorgasbord including mini chicken croissant sandwiches, gourmet deli roll sandwiches, nutritious raw veggies with an assortment of dipping sauces, tender meatballs drenched in a savory sauce and an endless array of sweet treats including brownies and powdered sugar dusted shortbread cookies.
Opportunities to graze and savor these scrumptious refreshments were afforded throughout the duration of the three-hour show, with one award winning artist after another gracing the stage to perform world-renowned hits from all of your favorite artists.
The first portion of the show included beautifully executed tributes to Marilyn Monroe, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, featuring toe-tapping tunes.
The second part of the show opened with a touching duet of the iconic Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers classic , “Islands in the Stream” performed by the outrageously talented Samantha Chambliss (who also pays tribute to Marilyn Monroe) and Michael Chambliss, the theater’s headlining, award-winning Elvis tribute artist.
Numerous tribute artists wore a variety of hats at this musical extravaganza, covering an array of songs spanning numerous titles and genres including the wildly popular “Friends in Low Places” originally by Garth Brook, as well as top hits by Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael Jackson and a pitch-perfect homage to Conway Twitty.
Michael Chambliss, a driving force behind the trove of tremendous shows and performances you’ll witness at Memories Theater, brings the house down with his grand finale, during which he dons the iconic Elvis “Nudie Suit” sailing through numbers including “Suspicious Minds” and “Never Been to Spain.”
A torrential downpour of multicolored balloons were released at the clock’s stroke of midnight, followed by a midnight toast of sparkling juice and a beautiful spirit of celebration among the attendees, many of whom traveled from across the United States to attend this magic welcoming of the New Year.
Elvis Birthday at Memories Theater
Elvis’s birthday, celebrated religiously worldwide by fans of “The King,” was recalled in a beautiful way with a grand birthday extravaganza at Memories Theater, which featured a trove of four total world class Elvis tribute artists.
This stellar tribute show was divided into four segments, each featuring their own unique and distinctive personalities, paying tribute to the assortments of attire , dance styles and musical genres explored by Elvis.
Featuring state of the art lighting and a live band, Elvis’s birthday provided top notch entertainment and a premium quality tribute experience that surely would have made The King himself proud.
The first segment of the two hour experience featured a jaw dropping set by 15-year-old tribute artist, Grey Galloway , whose superb vocal tonality, enigmatic state presence, and sharp, precise dance moves, recalled Elvis’s ’50’s choreography and overall aesthetic far exceeded his years.
Renowned tribute artist, Travis Powell , sailed through each number with buttery smooth vocals and undeniable charm. He donned Elvis’s signature, iconic skintight leather black jumpsuit, while twisting, dancing and gyrating.
Award-winning Elvis tribute artist Cote Deonath , who also owns and operates his own premier traveling Elvis convention/production, donned a martial arts style suit and displayed a fantastically choreographed array of dance moves, celebrating Elvis’s love of karate and the profound impact it had upon his songwriting and performance aesthetic.
The grand finale, world renowned champion tribute artist, Michael Chambliss, offered a pulse-pounding, high energy set that sublimely spotlighted his many talents — from his high precision dance moves to his gorgeous, exquisitely refined vocals and inimitable charm and stage presence
An integral and vitally important part of the show, the backup singers, (featuring the outrageously funny and supremely talented, Samantha Chambliss, who is married to Michael, added a luminous, full sound and distinctive style to each and every tribute artist’s set.
Be sure to follow Memories theater on all major social media platforms and online for all the inside scoop on the upcoming variety shows, productions and Elvis festivals you simply cannot miss on any upcoming trip to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Special thanks to the tremendously talented Michael Chambliss for setting up our visit for the spotlight feature.
PHONE NUMBER (865) 365-1124