Hope area residents are invited out for an evening with the King of rock and roll this weekend as the Actors’ Studio of Hope and WILLow LeaVes of Hope present “Elvis Has Left the Building” at 7 p.m. Friday.

Producer Naomi Fleetwood-Pyle and the show’s cast of five say not only will there be red scarves flyin’ but there will be plenty of laughs and classic tunes to get people movin’ in their seats.

Set in December 1970, the play, written by V. Cate and Duke Ernsberger, is a madcap comedy that explores the pitfalls of what happens when you misplace the king of rock and roll and the situation is further compounded by the perils of making a bet you cannot repay.

When Elvis’ manager, the Colonel, racks up a hefty debt he comes up with a plan to have his star client perform as a way to pay it back.

The problem? The Colonel has no clue where Elvis is.

He decides to do what he feels is the next best thing. Fake it.

With 24 hours to make it happen and the clock ticking, the Colonel enlists the help of a couple of guys to impersonate the King.

“The whole idea is we aren’t good Elvis impersonators,” says Pete Law, who plays Candy and is also the show’s co-producer. “Elvis is AWOL and we are just the last minute picks.”

To complicate matters, the Colonel also finds himself on the defense as he tries desperately to keep a prying reporter from getting the scoop and revealing the truth of what really happened to Elvis and his whereabouts.

Pyle, who also portrays the dogged reporter Jill Tanner, says her character is determined to get the scoop because she is sure no one knows,

“Where’s Elvis?”

This will be the first time “Elvis Has Left the Building” has been performed in the area, Pyle says. When putting on more obscure titles, Pyle says she’s found the key is to have a hook to bring people in the door. And with this play, the hook is Elvis, she says.

The biggest challenge with is production has been conquering the conundrum of how Elvis will be portrayed, Pyle says.

Fortunately, Law and his fellow actor Jason Bowser are up for the challenge.

There is something to be said for the art of keeping signature moves, like hip gyrations and lip curls, genuinely “Elvis,”

“I have to think about Elvis maneuverings and I don’t want to be offensive,” Law says. “I know some people are very guarded about Elvis. He is one of those people you don’t want to do something wrong about because some of those older ladies will get mad.”

Columbus resident Jason Bowser plays Roscoe who is an assistant to the Colonel, but not a good one, and is also asked to stand in for the absent singer.

Bowser says he’s previously portrayed Elvis, but this time is different.

“I’ve impersonated Elvis before in a play but this is going to be fun because I’m going to be impersonating him badly, which is going to be hysterical.”

However, despite the knee-slapping nature of his interpretation, Bowser says he feels deep respect for the historic icon.

“I revere Elvis greatly,” Bowser says. “He was one of my favorite singers. That is one thing I did growing up was watching his movies with my dad.”

Bowser says he hopes the play also serves as a good introduction to Elvis’ music for those audience members who may not be as familiar.

“When the music comes, I want people to get a sense of who Elvis was because some of the younger people, believe it or not, haven’t really heard his music,” Bowser says.

In addition to character study, there is also set production.

“There is the physical part of getting the stage in the right place so the characters have room to move and sing,” Pyle says. “I’ve not done something like this before.”

With rehearsals wrapping up and opening night days away, Law says this production is really about having a good time.

“It’s about just having fun with it and letting loose,” he says.

Pyle, who is a huge Elvis fan, says she is grateful for the opportunity to offer the play at WILLow LeaVes.

“We have put on some incredible plays and done good work there,” she says. “The ladies at WILLow LeaVes are so grateful and gracious to us.”