Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

All Shook Up

Featuring the songs of Elvis PresleyAll shook up at big noise theatre

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.

All shook up at big noise theatre

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.

All shook up at big noise theatre

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.’


Tom Williams

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.

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