CULTURE

‘Stars in Concert’ is just as good as it gets

Being the director of a production featuring the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles is not the easiest of tasks in the world. Especially when they’re no longer with us and impersonators must be found that sing, dance, talk and act like the stars themselves. James Atkinson has done just that and, for his efforts, has drawn over 2 million fans throughout the world, from Berlin, Las Vegas and faraway Sydney. With the production «Stars in Concert» now having reached Greek shores, Kathimerini spoke to the director-producer. As the producer of «Stars in Concert,» which do you rate as the best and worst moments until today? We’ve have both good and bad experiences over the past 10 years. One of the best moments was the premiere at Las Vegas. It was New Year’s Eve in 1995, the theater was full, and I was feeling very restless. It was the biggest production in my life and everything had to be perfect. And everything was. Could you share with us with your first experience in Las Vegas at the start of your career? I was still a student when I first visited. I spent two months there and worked on a production at the Bellagio Hotel – the academy of academies. I saw all the Elvis impersonators who were at the hotel day and night, and thought: «Why must it just be Elvis? Why can’t I create a show featuring 12 star impersonators?» There’s an abundance of impersonator stars on the planet. What makes your stars so special? Our artists are special because they’re not clones but impersonators. They don’t remind one of the major stars, and they don’t imitate them either. They are the stars themselves. If you were to adopt the role of a star, who would you like to be? For me, Louis Armstrong is tops. I’d very much like to impersonate him, which is probably impossible, as I’m not even black. In another life maybe. Are there stars that cannot be imitated? I’ve always thought that it is impossible to impersonate figures such as Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney. I’ve seen lots of imitation Bogarts and Cagneys, but none were convincing. What would all these stars think today if they were still alive and could meet their impersonators? Some are still alive, like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Madonna, who’s come along to our shows. The fact that people queue up for the shows should make them proud. It means that their star is still shining. Info: Tel. 210.931.6101-4.