Friday, Nov. 10, 2000 | 10:01 a.m.
"The Dream King," starring Trent Carlini, is a musical tribute to Elvis Presley featuring key songs from the early 1950s through Elvis' death in 1977.
Showtime at the Boardwalk is 8:30 p.m., but one should get there about 10 minutes early for a well-produced film that suggests there may have been some illegitimate Presley children, now grown up, and Carlini might be one of them.
Carlini worked with a recorded tape background. After a big buildup, he entered with a rousing version of the late Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll." The vocal sound level could have been better appreciated a few decibels down, especially on the fast blues with breaks numbers that dominated throughout the performance.
"Don't Be Cruel" followed and led into "Blue Suede Shoes," after which Carlini departed, the screen came down and portions of the film "G.I. Blues" were shown, with the late Juliet Prowse as Elvis' co-star. Carlini, in khakis and sergeant stripes, worked in front of an American flag and sang "G.I. Blues" and "Follow That Dream."
The khaki shirt was replaced with a Hawaiian shirt for versions of "Rock-a-Hula," "Return to Sender" and "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You," from the film "Blue Hawaii." Then more film clips, including a performance of "That's All Right, Mama." He returned on a motorcycle in a black outfit to sing another fast blues tune, "Evil."
This led to a medley of "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," and "I'm All Shook Up," followed by "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" A sit-down segment had Carlini actually playing guitar, flanked by two men culled from the audience, playing tambourine and drums on a guitar case for "Going Up, Going Down" and a strong "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy," a Lloyd Price hit.
He was off again, returning in a white jumpsuit with rhinestones for "C.C. Rider," "Suspicious Minds," "Caught in a Trap," and his best moment, singing "My Way," then closed with "Viva Las Vegas" and left the showroom to meet the audience, sign autographs and pose for pictures.
The Lighthouse Showroom at the Boardwalk seats approximately 100 and was two-thirds full at the show caught. It was an enthusiastic group that really got into the spirit of the show.
If you are an Elvis fan, Carlini is a good companion for the nostalgia trip.