What do you get when you blend a handful of comedic love triangles reminisce of William Shakespeare’s 1602 classic “Twelfth Night” set in modern day times to the jukebox-inspired music of Elvis Presley? The Sauk Prairie High School performance of “All Shook Up.”
The performance kicks off somewhere in the Midwest in the 1950s, where an entry-level musician and guitar player is released from prison. He heads to a nearby small town, where many love triangles among the townspeople abound.
Looking for a little fun, Chad is surprised to learn of a local ordinance preventing the residents from loud music, public necking and tight pants. Outraged, Chad incites rebellion among the people, and the mayor begins a crackdown on the inappropriate behavior. In the end, some people find their mates, while another finds love on the open road.
Sauk Prairie High School music teacher Matt Brennan said the musical is similar to the concept of “Footloose” in that it is a teen love story, but set to Elvis Presley’s music. It plays off Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Nigh” where a girl pretends to be a boy so she can get closer to him.
“It’s fun; hilarity ensues,” Brennan said.
Isaac Shin, a senior at Sauk Prairie High School, said his character, Chad, is loosely based of Elvis and is a ladies man who loves to sing, dance and stir up a little trouble for fun.
“It is a super funny love story between many characters,” Shin said. “It’s really upbeat and just a fun musical overall.”
“It’s got a lot of classic Elvis moves and 50s-style dancing,” said Sauk Prairie High School student Kamarie Seebecker. “It’s got great music, singing and dancing and is funny. It’s a heart-felt story about teenage romance.”
Seebecker, 17, plays Mayor Matilda, the villain of the show. Seebecker said her character is out to put the kibosh on Chad’s version of fun along with the teenage romance.
“I think my character is really funny,” Seebecker said. “She’s the villain of the show. She outlaws music and dancing. And of course, Chad comes to town, and that’s what he’s all about.”
With all the hip-swiveling dancing to Presley’s classic tunes such as Jailhouse Rock, That’s Alright, Hound Dog and more, the footwork had to be on point. Brennan said they brought in Jessica Ballweg, a 2006 graduate of Sauk Prairie High School, for the choreography.
Brennan said the school plans to capitalize on Elvis-lovers and hopes to introduce a new generation to Presley’s jukebox tunes as well.
“For some of the students in this play, it’s been their first exposure to him,” Brennan said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”