The Making of a King: Lucas Pastrana in ELVIS

Lucas Pastrana is preparing to make his Walnut Street Theatre debut in Elvis- A Musical Revolution. The actor, who is playing the role of Elvis, joins the cast with a long list of off-Broadway and regional credits. Lucas talked with Phindie about preparing for his role and finding a connection with the music icon.

[Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St] October 3-November 5, 2023;

Debra Danese: What as your start in theater?

Lucas Pastrana: I was sixteen when I did my first show. It was a production of Sweeney Todd at a community theatre in WI. I was lucky enough to play the role of Anthony Hope and it’s hard not to love musical theatre with a show like that.

DD: What was your first thought when you learned you got the role of Elvis?

LP: To be honest, my first thought was fear. I was terrified. Elvis is such an iconic character and real person, that I felt an immediate pressure to live up to his image. However, the more I worked on the material, the more I could see him as a regular guy. That helped me connect with him and view him as a person rather than an icon.

DD: What interesting fact did you learn about Elvis while researching the role?

LP: Two things actually. One was that he was Jewish. The second was that he had several head injuries that might have contributed to his inevitable demise.

DD: Which musical number is your favorite?

LP: It’s hard not to love “Trouble/ Guitar Man.” I also love a lot of his classic songs like “That’s Alright,” “Mystery Train” and so on. So pretty much my answer is it’s hard to pick just one.

DD: What were some of your favorite roles before coming to the Walnut?

LP: I have been fortunate enough to play several of my dream roles in my career. If I could list some, I would say probably Pippin in Pippin and Curly in Oklahoma

Elvis- A Musical Revolution is playing at the Walnut Street Theatre October 3-November 5, 2023. 825 Walnut St, Philadelphia.

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