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"All Shook Up"
Derby Dinner Playhouse
By Michael W. Stout
If you are a fan of the "King of Rock ‘n Roll," then Derby Dinner Playhouse's "All Shook Up" is just the show for you. Elvis fans must beware that "the hits are all Elvis," but you've never before heard them quite like this—these tunes are definitely "all shook up." This production, which is making its Kentuckiana debut at DDP, uses the lyrics to classic Elvis hits like "Jailhouse Rock," "Love Me Tender," and "Heartbreak Hotel," to tell a story of love between folks living in a "square town in a square state" during the summer of 1955.
Julie Abner makes her very impressionable DDP debut as Natalie Haller, a motorcycle mechanic who dreams of hitting the road and exploring the world outside of this small town. Her less-than-exciting life turns around one day when guitar-strummin' roustabout Chad, coolly played by Happy Mahaney, revs into this quiet, backward town, wearing a black leather jacket and perched upon a roaring motorcycle. While Natalie will go to any length to win the heart of Chad, Chad has his eyes set on museum curator and scene-stealer Miss Sandra, brilliantly played by Melissa Combs. However, Miss Sandra is determined to capture the heart of an imaginary Shakespearian sonnet-quoting Ed.
This hot new Broadway musical keeps the audience on its toes and keeps it guessing at which relationship is true love, which relationship is unattainable love, and even which relationship has any ground to stand on at all. This fast-paced production goes the extra mile past "Grease" and will keep your blue suede shoes tapping, your sides aching from laughter, and your head spinning while trying to decide just who is in love with whom, the answer which will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation until the last note is sung.
"All Shook Up," inspired by Elvis Presley's vast catalog of hits and based on the book written by Joe DePietro, will continue at Derby Dinner Playhouse through May 17. For ticket information, call 812-288-8281 or go to www.derbydinner.com.