Lace up your Blue Suede Shoes and dance to the Jailhouse Rock … Elvis Presley’s music has arrived at Oak Ridge High School in the musical “All Shook Up,” opening Thursday, Oct. 18.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said lead actor/singer/dancer Ryan Van Overeem. “It really brings back that Elvis Presley music. If you love Elvis’ music you’ll love this musical.”
The 16-year-old junior stars as Chad, “a cool, hip-swiveling roustabout who loves the ladies, loves the ladies a lot,” Ryan said. “But he’s also got a sensitive side … that’s searching for that burning love.”
When Chad rolls into a small town on his motorcycle its residents come alive, much to the dismay of the town’s mayor. Interracial and gender-bending love, as well as some mistaken identity, take over the sleepy community, and in the end everyone finds exactly who they need (even if it took them a while to realize it).
Classic Elvis songs like “Love Me Tender,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “All Shook Up” add a special kick to this musical set in 1955, which is why Oak Ridge Drama Director Janet Henke selected the musical. Though not a huge Elvis fan herself, Henke said the more she listened to the music the more she enjoyed its diversity — a mix of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, gospel and ballads.
Her cast of 40 actors (and just as many students behind the curtain) have their work cut out for them with “All Shook Up.” “The music in this is extremely challenging. The harmonies are very complicated,” Henke said. “The kids have really worked hard on those harmonies.”
Ryan said he’s comfortable with the music, but still needs time to practice those Elvis-like dance moves that make the girls swoon.
More important than that perfect hip swivel is the message “All Shook Up” shares with the audience, Henke said. “It has a wonderful message of acceptance,” she explained. “The town comes alive and learns about love and acceptance.”
“All Shook Up” takes the stage at the The Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Theatre, 1120 Harvard Way in El Dorado Hills. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Oct. 18-21 and Oct. 25-28, with 2 p.m. matinées on Oct. 20 & 27. The Oct. 20 evening performance will be a special fundraiser for Zach Pickett, the Ponderosa High School student who was paralyzed in a diving accident this past summer. All proceeds from ticket sales and concessions will go to Zach and his family.
Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors and children. Call the Oak Ridge box office at (916) 390-3727 or purchase tickets online at brownpapertickets.com.
Natalie Haller (Nicki Latini), Chad (Ryan Van Overeen), Jim Haller (Zackary Royal), Sylvia (Jullian Curry), Lorraine (Anna Kasirye), Dennis (Matt Kozak), Miss Sandra (Kelsey Day), Mayor Matilda Hyde (Shelby Otwell), Dean Hyde (Conner Kelleher), Sheriff Earl (Sean Kauffmann), warden/bus driver (Austin DiVincenzi) and Henrietta (Cynthia Mouzis); Barflies: Abbi Manoucheri, Madison Nelson and Sarah Shelnutt; Townspeople (ensemble): Aileen Barretto, Celeste Carle, Emma Edwards, Kayla Fisher, Laura Grenke, Alexis Mercado, Madison Reischl, Alanna Underwood, Lauren Wandell and Courtney Wrba; Townspeople (primary dancers): Peyton Adamcik, Quintin Casl, Zennin Casl, Colby Harper, Cassie King, Amanda Lowrey, Amber Otwell, Emma Seligson, Olivia Powell, Keith Walisa and Kirstin Woehler.
Janet Henke directs Oak Ridge’s production of “All Shook Up” with Magen Fegoso and Haley Nelson as assitant directors, Shaun Manly as musical director, Fred Seymour as guitarist, Kim Franklin as choreographer, Lara Dietrich as assistant choreographer and Quintin Casl as dance captain. Technical directors: Kate Rolls and Luke Rolls; assistant technical directors: Preston Masters and Ryan Norton; lighting ad set design: Luke Rolls; lightboard operator: Emeleigh Richan; assistant lightboard operator: Bailey Gray; follow spots: Grace Murray, Amy Keene and Karissa Leifker; sound design: Kate Rolls; sound technicians: Holli Stapleton and Dana Christiansen; stage manager: Ryan Norton; assistant stage manager: Preson Masters; scenery/mural.paint lead: Kristina Garrett: scenery assistants: Emma Seligson, Peyton Adamcik and Katelin Tanda; set construction: Steve Brown, Larry Summerfield, John & Kelly Garcia, Mr. Underwood and Kelley Wrba; Stage crew: Laren Kille, Austin Daly, Meredith Sierra, Stella Janecek, Caedon Masters, Spencer Paquin, Riley Bogar, Jordan Undseth, Robert O’Neill, Scott Lynch, Donne Stolle, Karissa LeFleur, Frank Casazza and Alex Harrow; Costume design: Sammy Summerfield; assistant costume design: Alanna Underwood; wardrobe assistants: Katlin Tanda and Emily Rose Whiting; properties chief: Teresa Salerno; assistant properties chief: Brook Gibboney; lobby display: Ashley England; house manager: Hailee Bernard; and assistant house manager: Tamara Maximovich.