With her shock of dark hair, piercing eyes, sexy pout and shiny jumpsuits glaring out from posters around town, it seemed like Elle-Vis was the latest drag king show to hit the scene.
But quietly spoken Adelaide singer Margarida, the talent behind Elle-Vis, quickly clears up any misconceptions about her show.
So much so, she has to have the concept of drag kings explained to her in the first place.
Oh no, I am not a drag act, she says with a laugh. I am not a drag king. I am a woman being a woman.
The people who think I am [a drag king] don’t understand that this is just me as Margarida doing Elvis music. It’s simply me.
She then adds with another laugh, I wasn’t really aware of this. As I told you, I am from Adelaide!
That explained, it has to be said that Margarida’s concept for a show with a woman singing and re-interpreting the music of Elvis Presley is a clever one. It proved a hit during her recent Adelaide season, and the Enmore Theatre is almost sold out for her 6 October show, with a second one planned.
But as Margarida talks about her love and devotion to the man dubbed the King of Rock’n’roll, it becomes obvious that this show is a labour of love.
As a singer with cover bands in Adelaide, Margarida explains that for years she had been told she looked like Elvis when she was performing. Added to her own passion for everything about the man from Memphis, she explains this show, two years in the making, is one that she simply had to do.
I have always loved the man and his music, she says. I do his songs with a women’s interpretation and a modern edge. It is my way of trying to bring Elvis into the 21st century and keep his memory alive the best way I can.
He has always inspired me -“ he had a magic voice and could bring a song to life -“ so this is the greatest tribute I can do to him. In the back of my mind, I wondered would this work and would people accept a woman doing this, but the drive was too strong.
In the Elle-Vis show, Margarida fronts a seven-piece band, with three back-up singers and four dancers. She performs re-interpretations of Elvis standards, like a dance version of Suspicious Minds, a Latin re-working on Always On My Mind, and such other classics as Burning Love, In The Ghetto and Viva Las Vegas.
While Elvis fans are always keen to revisit his music, it has been Margarida’s on-stage styling as Elle-Vis which has been winning her some lesbian fans.
I’ve heard it had started to get a lesbian following and that is great, she says, but refuses to discuss her own personal life. I invite them to come in -“ it is very flattering.
I know it is different, but what the Adelaide season made me feel was that people like this. Once they heard and saw it, they weren’t critical. I love his music, and can imagine doing this for years to come.
Elle-Vis plays Friday 6 October at the Enmore Theatre, Newtown. Bookings on 9550 3666 or www.ticketek.com.