It’s a hot mid-1950s summer in a place so unexceptional it is described as a square town in a square state in a square decade. All that is about to change, however, when a leather-jacketed, guitar-playin’ roustabout screeches his motorcycle into town for repair, bringing more excitement with him than the town has ever seen.
The result, the romantic musical comedy, ALL SHOOK UP gets its inspiration from and features the music of Elvis Presley. Paying homage to the King of Rock & Roll, “All Shook Up” is “like a 50’s jukebox, live and in 3D,” says SCERA President & CEO Adam J. Robertson.
ALL SHOOK UP will turn the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre into a joyous whirlwind of song and dance when it plays July 6-21 @ 8pm on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The Shell is located at 699 South State in the middle of SCERA Park, Orem.
General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children (age 3-11), seniors (age 65+) and students (w/ID). Reserved seating areas range from $12-$14 for adults and $10-$12 for children, seniors and children. They are available in advance from 10am-6pm weekdays and Saturdays from 12Noon-6pm at the main office at the SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 South State, Orem, by calling (801) 225-ARTS, online at www.scera.org or at the gate one hour prior to each performance.
Although the musical written by Joe DiPietro provides an ideal tribute to all things Elvis, it’s story is all new – often compared to Broadway hits like “Mamma Mia” that successfully combine a fresh script with greatest hits from legendary performers.
"All Shook Up’s” comedy arises from mistaken identities – a convention borrowed from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” and “Twelfth Night.” And if the lead character happens to remind the audience of Elvis with his leather jacket, guitar skills, hip swivels and curled lip, just know it’s on purpose – all done with an affectionate tongue in cheek.
“This is what we call a jukebox musical,” says Jennifer Reed, director. “You take the hits from a particular artist and write a story around it. The fun story of small town America is woven around all of Elvis’ greatest hits.”
Although there are five different stories that deal with familiar themes—rich boy falls in love with poor girl, for example—at the center is Natalie, a tomboy who works at her dad’s mechanic shop, who falls madly in love with Chad, the newcomer. He, of course, falls for Sandra, who wants nothing to do with him, another familiar theme. To get close to him, Natalie pretends to be a guy named Ed and becomes Chad’s sidekick and really good friend. The inevitable question is “Will true love prevail?”
“The story is really fun, and the vocals and choreography are amazing,” Reed adds. “We’ve got close to 30 songs in the show, so expect non-stop singing and dancing. Audiences should recognize all of Elvis’ hits: ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’ ‘A Little Less Conversation,’ ‘Teddy Bear,’ ‘Hound Dog,’ ‘All Shook Up,’ ‘Don’t be Cruel,’ ‘Love Me Tender’ and more.”
Performing as leads are Jordan Dickison as Chad and T’Naiha Ellis as Natalie/Ed. Other featured players are Samantha Frisby as Sandra; Jacob Porter as the nerdy Dennis; Jim Murphy as Jim; Cathryn Frisby as Sylvia; Brodee Ripple as Dean and Ashlyn Hirchak as Lorraine.
The creative team includes Nat Reed, set design, who has created platforms that look as if someone has slid a lot of 45 records on stage. Connie Jensen is the music director, and Sunny Watts has done the choreography. Brandon Moss is lighting designer, and Erin Bijorn is costume designer.
“For a summer show under the stars, few capture the energy and joy our audiences will see with ‘All Shook Up,’ Reeds adds. “We’ll make the hill come alive.”
Photo credit: Peter Widfeldt/CanIGetaCopy.com