A late post tonight, after a fun evening at the Pittsburg, Kansas Memorial Auditorium where my grandson Jonathan performed in the musical All Shook Up. What a superb way to end the day.
Jonathan joined 39 other 6th – 10th graders recently at Just Off Broadway drama camp, where they worked for two weeks on this production. All Shook Up features the songs of Elvis Presley. The musical was directed by Greg Shaw, with vocal direction by Karrie Fenech and choreography by Will Jewett.
The year is 1955 and hip swiveling, guitar toting Chad (Levi Ben) roars into town on his motorcycle. This free spirited young man is determined to spread joy and music throughout every community he visits.
While in town, he draws the affections of Natalie (McKenna Shaw), the mechanic, and makes the local geek, Dennis (Stuart O’Brien), his sidekick. Chad falls in love, not with Natalie but with the museum curator, Sandra (Mesa Jones), who in turns falls for another stranger in town, Ed (played by Shaw as well). Among these star crossed lovers Dean (Colin O’Brien) and Lorraine (Addy Campbell) find forbidden love against the wishes of Dean’s controlling mother, and mayor of the city, Matilda (Ainsley Balthazor).
There are lessons to be learned and loves to be sorted out, amid singing and rocking out to classic songs such Blue Suede Shoes, Heartbreak, and Jailhouse Rock.
This was such a fun musical! Jonathan was part of the ensemble cast, costumed smartly in a suit, singing and dancing his way through the night. I was so proud of him. He is a natural on the stage, and fearless in front of an audience.
The whole cast was quite impressive. These middle school through high school performers had powerful voices and great dance moves, and delivered their lines with wit and confidence. I love watching a play or musical where the actors and singers are so obviously enjoying themselves, and such was the case tonight.
I laughed and applauded and cheered and at the end, stood up in appreciation for a fine performance by a talented group of kids. There is a matinee tomorrow at 2:00, at the Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $5 at the door. It’s money well spent. Check out All Shook Up. You will be glad you did, and leave with a smile on your face.