Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press

Elvis Is Back In The Building At Sierra Repertory Theatre

Taylor Rodriguez as Elvis.
Taylor Rodriguez as Elvis.

The Sierra Repertory Theatre is proud to present the West Coast premiere of Elvis The Musical, at the East Sonora Theatre, March 2 through April 2.

His singular name still evokes immediate recognition from people all over the world! This official Elvis Presley bio-musical takes a closer look at the rock star and cultural icon whose impact shaped the history of music and culture. This new musical explores the pivotal moments in Elvis’s life through the perspectives of those who knew him best.

Using different lenses to dig deeper into fact vs. fiction, Elvis The Musical spans from his impoverished childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi to his triumphant 1968 “Comeback Special,” and his ascent to be “The King.” It features over 40 Elvis hits and iconic songs including, “That’s All Right,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” “All Shook Up,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Burning Love,” “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” “Earth Angel,” “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Are You Lonesome,” and “Blue Suede Shoes”.

“Ever since (SRT’s Executive Producer) Scott Viets and I started programming our seasons together, I have wished for a show called Elvis The Musical,” says SRT’s new Artistic Director Jerry Lee. “And it’s great! It’s a wish come true. Elvis is in the building and tickets are flying.”

Starring as The King himself, Taylor Rodriguez joins SRT all the way from Lynchburg, Virginia. In 2019, he was named The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Champion by Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE). He won a grand prize of $20,000 and a contract with EPE. Rodriguez has had the honor of performing in many musical productions including the Million Dollar Quartet where he starred as Elvis. In 2017 he was named one of the Top 5 Elvis Tribute Artists in the world. In June of 2019, he was crowned the 2019 Tupelo Elvis Festival Champion.

“A few weeks ago, while I was working on the script, I let a few of Taylor’s YouTube clips play in the background,” says Lee. “Whenever I heard anything particularly beautiful, I had to remind myself that it was Taylor and not one of Elvis’ recordings. His voice is that great and the similarity is amazing!”

Elvis previews at the East Sonora Theatre at 6:30 p.m. on March 2 and 3. The show opens March 4 as part of Sierra Rep’s Season Opening Celebration. This event begins at 5 p.m. and includes a mix and mingle reception with cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres (Memphis-style barbecue), followed by an onstage auction and the opening night performance of the West Coast premiere of Elvis The Musical. Following the performance, the party continues with dessert (Elvis’ favorite desserts) with the cast and crew of Elvis The Musical. Tickets for the Season Opening Celebration event are $185 general admission, or $150 for 2023 Season Pass holders. This event is a fundraiser for Sierra Rep, supporting productions and educational programming.

Regular performance times are Wednesdays at noon, Thursdays at 2 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. through April 2. Tickets range from $35-$48. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, students, veterans, and first responders. Tickets are available by calling the box office at (209) 532.3120, visiting, or emailing [email protected]. The East Sonora Theatre is located at 13891 Mono Way, Sonora.