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Hard Schlock 

The Hard Rock Café serves up a breakfast you won't soon forget

It's 9:15 a.m. on a Sunday, and your friends have dragged you to the Hard Rock Café at Union Station for a theatrical meal so surreal it makes Medieval Times seem like Coco's.

After the servers remove plates sticky with maple syrup, the lights go down, and the emcee introduces ... Britney Spears. Yes, wiggling her teenage tush through "Oops, I Did It Again," a perky Britney imitator bullies her way into the spectators' mental haze of coffee, pancakes and not-quite-wakefulness. The karaoke track ends and the maiden midriff retires to the wings, but the show is just getting started. A dead ringer for John Lennon warbles convincingly through "Watching the Wheels" and "Imagine," then a Tina Turner impersonator tackles "Simply the Best." A cute-as-a-button Buddy Holly imitator runs through a medley of "Every Day," "Peggy Sue" and "That'll Be the Day."

It's now 9:45 a.m., and if you've resisted the mimosa and Bloody Mary bar thus far, get cracking. The finale of the show will either completely wake you up or convince you you're still dreaming after all. That's because a reasonable facsimile of Elvis Presley from the '68 comeback special, strapped into a black leather ensemble, does a rousing "Heartbreak Hotel" and, for the finale, a tender version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" addressed to a very special lady in the audience. The cheese ain't just in your omelette.

In the press release touting the restaurant's new "Icon Show" of pop-music impersonators, St. Louis Hard Rock Café sales manager Paula Zingrich says, "To my knowledge there is no other restaurant in the city providing well-known entertainment during the breakfast hour." It's a statement that begs the question "How much ham can you handle?"

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