Return to Grace, playing at Place des Arts Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, is a special performance that portrays the early years of Elvis, through to his 1968 comeback TV special and onto the worldwide satellite TV broadcast of his Hawaii show.

Our narrator, in a 30’s-era three-piece suit, walked us through the history of Elvis, including details from his number in the military service to information about his birth. The narrator gave us context, in his down South accent, of what was happening in the 60’s while Elvis struggled to stay relevant during the British invasion and the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr. Though men walked on the moon, Elvis had a larger audience of his televised performance in Hawaii.

As our narrator so succinctly stated, “If you are a fan, no explanation is necessary. And if you ain’t, well, no explanation is possible.”

Return to Grace is fronted by Elvis-look-a-like and serious crooner, Steve Michaels, as well as an incredible band capable of blowing away the stage with epic rock numbers, or soulful ballads. Michaels was also supported by a flawless girl group who held the stage in their own right, serenading us between costume and time period changes. Along for the ride was a group of male backup singers, who boasted a bass singer so low, I thought the floor was going to fall out from under us, and a small symphony of string players that added much richness to what was already a dazzling show.

Songs like Jailhouse Rock had Michaels dancing in Presley’s signature leather suit, lithe dancers up in the scaffolding backdrop, dancing in glitter dresses. We were led through the many chameleon-like changes Elvis went through. In his gospel phase, the stage was converted into stained glass windows and we were treated to songs that were truly soulful, Elvis-style.

Throughout the show, Michaels maintained the Elvis character hilariously, proffering scarves and kisses to the women who flocked in front of the stage, and also bantering, sometimes incoherently, in what I am certain a pilled-up Elvis probably did. Return to Grace focuses on the memorable music of Elvis’s life through a series of songs.

Although there have been many impersonators over the years, Michaels is no impersonator. He has studied and researched Elvis in such detail that he effectively becomes Elvis. With a voice that gives goose-bumps and a style and humour that is both warm and admirable, Return to Grace was executed incredibly. There really only is one Elvis, and Return to Grace delivered on that beautifully. This is a show well worth seeing.

Return To Grace is on a Places des Arts until Sunday, June 19. Tickets are available at the Places des Arts Box Office: 514-842-2112, or