Priscilla Presley: No Elvis imitators at new Vegas chapel
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The King will not appear at Elvis Presley's Graceland Wedding Chapel that is coming soon to Las Vegas — exactly how Priscilla Presley wants it.
The woman who wed Elvis in Sin City in 1967 made one thing clear before unveiling the latest wedding chapel to bear his name: No Elvis impersonators.
Priscilla Presley knows some might prefer a jumpsuit-wearing, sideburn-donning wedding official with a bit of swivel to his hips. But she says such a move would only cheapen the place.
"This is all first-class," she told the Associated Press recently. "This is not a joke. The wedding chapel is not a joke."
That means no red velvet, Presley said. Nothing gaudy.
She has been involved in the look and feel of the chapel that officials say is part of the first permanent exhibit of Elvis artifacts outside Graceland, the singer's iconic Memphis, Tennessee, home.
And a reflection of the Memphis landmark will be the backdrop for the chapel, with couples seemingly saying "I do" on the home's front steps.
Authenticity is what this new chapel offers, she said, and more than anything, she seems keen on ridding the world, and Las Vegas, of the often over-the-top, tacky image of her late ex-husband.
"Elvis had a lot of dignity. Elvis had a lot of class," she said. "He was a beautiful specimen of a man."
"Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition - The Show - The Experience," including the chapel, opens April 23 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino, the same property where Elvis performed several hundred sold-out shows between 1969 and 1976, when it was known as the International Hotel and later the Las Vegas Hilton.
When Priscilla Presley arrives for the show's debut, it may be only her second time visiting the site since she last saw Elvis perform there in 1975.
Even a six-week show that aims to replicate those concerts will feature an actor, not an impersonator, Presley was careful to note.
"He's not trying to be Elvis Presley," she said of performer Martin Fontaine, who will perform Elvis songs with a 24-piece band in a renovated showroom where the King took the stage.
While there won't be any impersonators, one lucky couple will get a Presley in their wedding party opening day.
Priscilla Presley will attend the nuptials of the couple that wins a contest announced by NBC's "Today" show Monday after giving them a private tour of the exhibit the night before.
"I'm going to make sure it's done right," she said of the wedding.