rolls back the new year at I-X Center
By Charles Cassady
Published Jan. 7, 2008
It is a historical fact that Elvis Presley
whose birthday will be commemorated in a big “Elvis Birthday Tribute”
gala in Playhouse Square on Jan. 18 – was fascinated by law-enforcement.
Once he flew cross-country (having had the Colonel pulling some
strings) to receive an honorary FBI badge.
favor, John Kevin Hupka, of West Park, has made a second career
out of being Cleveland's only police officer who is an honorary
Hupka, in his
sequin-costumed incarnation of “Kelvis,” performs this weekend at
the Ohio RV Supershow at the I-X Center. Hupka will do his Presley
tribute amidst the recreational vehicles on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday
at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.
impersonator Kevin "Kelvis" Hupka grooves his way right into
the crowd at the Ohio RV Supershow at the I-X Center. (Photo
courtesy of Charles Cassidy)
Hupka is part of a lineup of entertainment booked
to guest-star while browsers apprise the Airstreams and Winnebagos.
Other artists include the Hastily Assembled Bluegrass Band, from
New Philadelphia, Ohio.
however, Hupka can also be found performing at a variety of venues,
including private parties, weddings, retirement centers and, of
course, Elvis fan-conventions held in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Lake
George, New York.
In his day-job guise as police officer, Hupka works
out of the former Fifth District in Cleveland. “The Fifth is now
the Third or as we call it, the Fifth/Third,” he said. “I
am still `on the job,’ and I still have not met any brothers in
blue who wear sequins.”
a longtime Elvis fan, took up the mantle of the King of Rock and
Roll seven years ago, as a lark for Halloween. He started practicing
singing Elvis hits and studying Elvis on film, and when his act
went over well in the neighborhood Hupka realized that an Elvis
identity might make a nice supplemental income to his paycheck as
a crime fighter.
In 2004 Hupka,
after placing highly in the Elvis-impersonation regionals at the
Cuyahoga County Fair, he himself went to Las Vegas to compete in
a national musical Elvis Presley look-alike contest. Friends and
colleagues on the force helped raise the money to send Kelvis to
the Westward Ho Casino, where he came in 14th in the non-professional
division and won $750.
He hasn’t performed with other bands in his off-hours.
“I shy away from bands because due to the number of members - I
would have to take a cut in pay, and, believe it or not,
what I do is hard work.
The only time
I accept less is for the senior citizens…retirement centers, nursing
the I-X Center get to see Kelvis as part of their regular RV Supershow
admission, and it’s the total Vegas-era Elvis experience, with all
the signature hits. “I always do the popular ones. `Teddy Bear,’
‘Hound Dog,’ ‘Suspicious Minds,’ etc.” Sometimes he will throw in
“My Way” or “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” songs that Elvis did
not release initially but which he made his own.
And after the
I-X show? “I have a wedding on the 24th and will be at the VFW hall
in Elyria on the 31st. I have a few bookings each month so far thru
in booking “Kelvis” shouldn’t dial 9-1-1 but rather surf online
to Hupka’s website, www.kelvisentertainment.com. Right now it carries
an amusing `miraculous image’ of Presley that Hupka found created
by melting snow on Cleveland pavement.
There are also
links to some of Hupka’s favorite place to do Elvis-watch stakeouts.
“I would definitely recommend Elvis week in Memphis, Tennessee.
It's always held the week of the anniversary of Elvis' death. We
are not going this year and didn't last year because we see the
guys that perform in that show all the time in Lake George.
“It is a great
show and I strongly suggest any Elvis fan to attend.”
Admission to the RV Supershow at the I-X Center costs
$11.50 per person. Go online to www.ohiorvshow.com.
For more information on Sunday's Elvis Birthday tribute at the State
Theatre in Playhouse Square, check out www.playhousesquare.org.
On the Web: