What can be said about the Columbian High School production of "All Shook Up" with such limited space?
Taken from a well-known Elvis Presley song, the title reveals who wrote the music. But the musical is not about Elvis. Set in the 1950s, it is a separate story that incorporates some favorite Elvis tunes.
A troupe of young men in prison garb starts the show with a bang, dancing and singing to "Jailhouse Rock." License plates add percussion to the choreography. As the music winds down, one of the inmates, Chad (Parker Holben), is released by the warden (Frazier Daniel).
At left, Parker Holben is Chad.
PHOTOS BY STEVE WILLIAMS
Sylvia’s Place is the local hangout in “All Shook Up.” Behind the bar is Julianne Peacock as the proprietor. On the stool is Gabrielle Schmucker as Silvia’s daughter, Lorraine. Standing in the center are Eline Widman as Dennis and Ashley Huntington as Natalie.
Calling Chad a "Roustabout," the warden warns him not to stir up trouble on the way out of the city.
At the same time, the residents of a small, nameless town in the Midwest are gathered at Sylvia's Place, complaining about boredom and dreaming of something better, to the tune of "Heartbreak Hotel."
Interrupting the conversation is the roar of a motorcycle. Chad has arrived, bringing a bit of excitement to the sleepy town. He strides in with his guitar, looking for a mechanic to fix his ride. Julianne Peacock, as Silvia, runs the cafe with her daughter, Lorraine (Gabrielle Schmucker).
If you go
Performances for "All Shook Up" are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and again March 21 and 22 in Columbian High School's auditorium.
Tickets are $7 at the door or from any cast member. For reservations, call (419) 447- 6331 during school hours.
The school is at 300 S. Monroe St.
The mom and daughter get a bit excited at the sight of this attractive, young vagabond.
It so happens a service station is nearby, run by Jim Haller and his daughter, Natalie. Samuel Smith and Ashley Huntington fill the father and daughter roles, respectively.
It's love at first sight when Natalie meets Chad, but not so much on his end.
"I've been with a lot of women - a lot of women," he tells her with a swagger.
Besides, Natalie's best friend, Dennis (Eline Widman), wants to be more than a friend to her.
As word of Chad's appearance spreads through town, everyone shows up to see what the fuss is about. Chad offers to fix the broken jukebox at Sylvia's and bring a little life to the town before he rides out again.
That idea does not set well with the straight-laced Mayor Matilda Hyde and her husband, the reticent Sheriff Earl, portrayed by Katia Bryant and Christian Kiesel, respectively.
With them is their son, Dean (Blake Borer-Miller), recently returned from military school. Also new in town is Annie Demith as the sophisticated and glamorous Miss Sandra, the new owner of the museum.
In addition to the songs mentioned, Act One also covers "One Night With You" (several times), "Follow That Dream," "It's Now or Never," "Love Me Tender," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Don't Be Cruel" and "Let Yourself Go." Of special note are the upbeat production number "Love-a My Baby" and the quartet of Natalie, Chad, Dennis and Sandra performing overlapping renditions of "Teddy Bear" and "Hound Dog."
The first half ends with "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" as romance blooms among the main characters and the town in general.
The convoluted story line cannot be unraveled here, but it centers around eight main characters, including one woman who doubles as a man. There is the couple Lorraine and Dean; the triangle of Jim, Silvia and Sandra; and the quadrangle of Chad, Sandra, Dennis and Natalie/Ed.
The actors are miked but the audience will need to pay attention to follow the intertwining relationships. A theatrical device called tableau is used a number of times.
The musical numbers in Act Two include "All Shook Up," "It Hurts Me," "Power of My Love," "Devil in Disguise," "If I Can Dream," "Fools Fall in Love" and "Burning Love."
The pit band manages to hammer out all the Presley hits in this fast-moving show. Likewise, the crew keeps the set changes, lights and sound on cue.
Adding flair to the drama are the dancers (who also sing): Kaelyn Armstrong, Audrey Behm, Kendra Bosse, Trent Dundore, Jay Gase, Kordell Hunt, Dylan Knaplund, Braden Kuhn, Elena Penhos, Emma Ramsdell, Shayla Thomas and Noah Widman.
Adding their voices are Betlee Barraquias, Olivia Brown, Ann Eberly, Jenna Fawcett, Tanner Gitcheff, Hannah Hawk, Tyler Hawk, Wesley Henkel, Natalie Howard, Sagan Kahler, Mara Luzader, Kayla McGinnis, Nate Ramsdell, Myka Scott, Erika Shultz, Lena Simmler, Riley Williams, Nate Wise and Adam Young.
Director Michael Steyer is assisted by Cory Ridge and musical director Kimberly Ridge. Credit for the creative choreography goes to Kaitly Boehler and Sandy Anderson.