STERLING — This year’s Sterling High School musical is all about the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” himself – Elvis Presley. “All Shook Up” is a show inspired by, and featuring the songs of Elvis. It’s a hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical that promises to have audiences jumpin’ out of their blue suede shoes with such classics as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Don’t Be Cruel.” The show will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Nov. 12-14 in at the Sterling High School Theatre.
With its hit-filled score made up of over 24 Elvis classics and its clever book by Joe DiPetro (“Over the River and Through the Woods” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It”), “All Shook Up” is basically an Elvis movie without Elvis. DiPietro’s book borrows creatively from Shakespeare while revolving around a character Elvis himself might have played in one of his 1960s movies. That character is Chad played by Sterling senior Caleb Brownlee.
Chad is the leather-jacketed hero, who rides his motorcycle into a Midwestern town in 1955, ensuring that its citizen’s dull, colorless lives will never be the same again.
Tomboy Natalie, played by senior Sophia Vessey, falls so head-over-heels for Chad that she decides to disguise herself as “Ed,” to get closer to the man of her dreams, and in doing so sets off a chain of unrequited loves across the burg.
Chad crushes on the new gal in town, the curvy/brainy museum proprietress Miss Sandra, played by sophomore Ella Wellman as does Natalie’s father, Jim, played by senior Lucas Gilmore who himself is loved from afar by saloon owner Sylvia, senior Hannah Bennett.
Meanwhile, geeky, would-be dentist Dennis, junior Josiah Watney, pines after Natalie. Only Dean, junior Noah Svaty, and Lorraine, senior Aubrey Anderson, have the good fortune of falling in love with each other. Bossy Major Matilda, sophomore Bella Brownlee, patrols the town with Sheriff Earl, senior Colton Sant, by her side, the better to enforce the “Mamie Eisenhower Public Decency Act” outlawing singing, dancing, touching and kissing.
Students in the ensemble of “All Shook Up” include Macy Brownlee, Maddy Chesney, Claire Chesney, Karissa Wilson, Caden Webb, Alexis Beechan, Ty Fulbright, Kelsey Webb, Micah Svaty, Zoe Harding, Tori Gonzalez, Meah Gonzalez, Shaylin Carmichael, Charlie Simpson-Eighmy, Zane Guerrero, Olivia Kilgore, Luke Hooker, and Cooper McGlynn.
Sterling High theater director Betsy Dutton helms the show with choral director Clark Comley as music director. Cindy Anthony is accompanist, Bob Brownlee is set designer and Piper Harding is chief choreographer.
Tickets for “All Shook Up” are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Due to COVID restrictions, seating in the theater will be limited but each performance will be streamed live online, but a ticket will be required. Details of tickets and streaming are being worked out now and will be released next week.