Elvis & friends take on a tough task: Cheering up Baltimore
Sequins, steely Santas and hunks of burning love at the Night of 100 Elvises. Photos by Jennifer Bishop.
Above: Backstage as The King and Kris Kringle share a moment. (Jennifer Bishop)
And you thought you had it rough trying to rev up for yet another holiday season? Imagine what it’s like for icons like Elvis and Santa.
While the rest of us can retreat from the madness into our own private binge-watching, screen-surfing, sanity-saving strategies, these guys have got to be all shook up and ho-ho-ho-ing pretty much 24-7. Or so I thought.
Last weekend at the “Night of 100 Elvises” at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, photographer Jennifer Bishop and I got backstage and saw the legends’ human side.
Such as Elvis checking his cellphone. Elvis bending down like a giraffe to tie the laces on his shiny white platform shoes. Elvis doing a business deal with Santa. And Santa knocking back a beer or three with “The King.”
All of which made it startling when the same Elvises stepped onto the stage and delivered rousing performances of “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” soulful renditions of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and basically got transformed from random old guys with potbellies into a regal “hunk, a hunk of burning love” who made men in the audience cheer and ladies scream and take selfies.
The event marked the 25th year of honoring all things Elvis and raising money for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, itself a venerable Baltimore institution dating back to 1912.
Here are some of the photos that Bishop brought back: