Don't miss this uproarious new musical comedy featuring the unforgettable hits of Elvis Presley! The story is loosely based on William Shakespeare's 1602 play Twelfth Night.
Mix the lyrical genius of Elvis Presley with the brilliant plotting mind of Shakespeare and the result is a surprisingly hilarious musical in easily understood English. “All Shook Up,” which contains 25 of Presley’s classic hits fills the La Comedia stage through June 29 and is enjoyable whether or not you are a fan of the King or can recite a Shakespearean sonnet.
Set during the 1950’s in a town void of much joy or any real excitement is ‘All Shook Up’ when a guitar playing, motorcycle riding, oozing with machismo roustabout named Chad passes through. In the role of Chad, Michael Karraker is royally supreme with his swiveling hips, perfect hair and velvety smooth voice. Karraker has proven himself to be, dare I say, the ‘King’ of La Comedia with previous stellar performances such as Captain Hook in ‘Peter Pan’ and as Mr. Hart in ‘9 to 5.’
The presence of Chad awakens the hearts of the townspeople and triggers a web of romance.
There are cases of unrequited love, forbidden love, gender bending love and more. Despite all the romance, it is the funny bone more than the heart that ‘All Shook Up’ touches. At the center of it all is Maria Pedro as Natalie, in her La Comedia debut, who is totally enamored by Chad, but her feelings go unnoticed. In order to gain his attention, Natalie lowers her voice and raises her testosterone, leading to consequences much different than imagined. Though Pedro may cross the lines of gender, her performance is straight on perfection in every way.
A strong supporting cast with a mix of both veterans and newcomers really brightens the show. Making his debut is Chris Giordano as Dennis, whose socially awkward with a deep love that isn’t returned. A La Comedia favorite is Chris Kramer (Jim Haller) who tries to raise his level of cool to acquire love, but what he wants might be right under his eyes. Another newcomer is DeAnn Parker as Sylvia, whose powerful voice is full of soul, but her character has forgotten how to love. Plus there’s Karie-Lee Sutherland sizzles as Miss Sandra and that’s only half of the characters who find love when least expected. Special credit must also be given to the tremendous ensemble, whose array of dance moves is filled with enough energy to shoot them right out of their blue suede shoes.
‘All Shook Up’ is very music heavy, but the talented cast more than carries the load. While her part may be smaller than others, nobody leaves a bigger impression upon the souls (or ears) of the audience than DeAnn Parker (Sylvia) with her vocal ability. The featured songs include ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ ‘Love Me Tender’ and ‘One Night With You.’ A highlight for me is a beautiful (not just because Miss Sandra is involved) rendition of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love.’
Don’t attend ‘All Shook Up’ expecting an Elvis impersonator or a story about the King’s life. It’s neither of those things, but a fun filled musical that simply contains many of Presley’s songs. The plot is loosely based on Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ at least that’s what I’ve heard.
Another personal highlight, in addition to the delicious buffet was the peanut-butter banana pie for dessert. It won’t leave you dead (like Elvis, supposedly) but the taste will send you into heaven.
Don’t be a fool, rush into La Comedia to fall in love with ‘All Shook Up’ before June 29.
May 8 - June 29, 2014 at La Comedia Dinner Theatre. Don't miss this uproarious new musical comedy featuring the unforgettable hits of Elvis Presley! The story is loosely based on William Shakespeare's 1602 play Twelfth Night.
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.
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