Elvis fans may want to check out Rome High’s musical this weekend.
“All Shook Up” is the tale of a Midwest town in the 1950s that is a little dreary and suddenly becomes more exciting when Chad, a roustabout recently released from jail, rock ‘n’ rolls his way into the hearts of the townspeople. There’s a law against music and dancing and public necking and tight pants. Chad sets a series of events into motion, including several interesting — occasionally confusing — love stories.
The musical features several of Elvis’ most popular songs, such as “Jailhouse Rock,” “Teddy Bear,” “Hound Dog” and “Love Me Tender.”
“I think of the show as a blend of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night,’ ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Footloose,’” explained assistant director Kelly Hill. “A girl dresses as a boy, the townspeople can’t dance, there’s a tyrannical mayor and an interracial relationship.”
The show has something for everyone and will be fun to watch, according to drama teacher and director Angelica Delzer.
“It’s a fun, funny romantic comedy,” she said. “It’s very silly.”
The show opens tonight at 7 p.m. at the Rome High School auditorium. The run continues Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and cost $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
The show has been a challenge for performers because it is very dance heavy, Delzer said.
“The music is difficult and there is a lot of dancing,” she said. “But the kids have been doing a great job with it. We got a lot of great costumes from various places like Goodwill and Amazon and it’s been fun for them to search out the right pieces.”
The Elvis music was fun for everyone as well, she added.
“You could tell right away which songs they knew before,” she said. “The school has a really strong choral program and they’ve been awesome.”
Six students were responsible for choreographing the show, including senior Abigail Childers.
“This has been a new experience for me,” she said. “I’ve been dancing most of my life and trying to combine the pop music with the musical style has been challenging, but fun.”
“Jailhouse Rock” is her favorite piece that she choreographed, she said.
“I worked on several, but that one I’m really proud of,” she said.
While the students were coming up to her and saying they couldn’t dance at first, she said the response throughout rehearsals has been positive.
“They gave it a try and started enjoying it, and now they smile and laugh and have fun,” Childers said. “It feels great as a choreographer, but also as a member of the cast, it feels like we are all just one big family.”
Hudson Ivery, who plays Chad, the roustabout, was one who wasn’t sure about the dancing at first, he admits.
“I’ve learned a lot about dancing,” he said, laughing. “I’m not better. I’m not a good dancer, but I can do the moves. Still can’t dance, though.”
He said he hopes that people will come enjoy the show and promised that it would entertain.
“It is by far the funniest script I’ve ever read,” he said. “I read through it several times when I first got it just because it was so funny. It’s got this great, hectic, confusing love story, so you have to come out to see it.”