Book by Joe DiPietro
Directed by Nancy Flaster
Choreographer Ann Fink
Music direction by Joe Rosenmayer
Produced by Big Noise Theatre Company
At Fun, tuneful rock musical is a delight
Big Noise Theatre Company has amassed a fine body of work doing an assortment of modern Broadway musicals over the years.. Director Nancy Flaster has found an exuberant group of young talent to sing and dance Joe DiPietro’s 50’s rock fable – All Shook Up. Fueled by Elvis Presley’s songbook, All Shook Up has a thin story line with hints of Twelfth Night. We meet the inhibited folks from a small Midwestern town whose mayor got local laws changed to forbid tight jeans and rock dancing. Enter Chad (Robert Deason), black leather jacketed motorcycler ‘cool’ guy who arrives in town to show the folks how to have a good time.
Natalie (Emilie Lynn) instantly falls in love with the sexy Chad. He lusts after Miss Sandra (Paige Lindsay Ehlman) while the nerdy Dennis (Cory Stonebrook) pines for Natalie, etc, etc. Forbidden relationships, mistaken identities and racial and gender issues complicate the humorous story. The fun and energy moves swiftly as Elvis’ tunes are sung and danced with a winning infectious spirit. Among the terrific dancers, Robert Deason’s Chad exuded both sexual sparks with swiveling hips and a sweet smile.
Among the singers, Emilie Lynn’s strong vocals were a delight. Pascale M. Trouillot belted her songs to perfection. The ensemble work here was pleasing as this cute musical easily won the audience. I could hear many folks singing along to Elvis’ songs. Big Noise has a enjoyable production of a mediocre musical. If you want an inexpensive full-scale Broadway musical – then get to Big Noise Theatre at Prairie Lakes in Des Plaines – it’s nicely ‘shake you up.’
At Prairie Lakes Theatre, 515 E. Thacker, Des Plaines, IL, call 847-604-0275, tickets $20 – $18 fir seniors. students, $10 children, Friday & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission.