Elvis is in the house: Clear Spring High stages 'All Shook Up'

April 11, 2012|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • Tessa Wiles, left, plays Natalie, a small-town girl captivated by a new guy in town, Chad, standing on the bench, played by Ryan Baker, in Clear Spring High School's production of "All Shook Up."
By Joe Crocetts/Staff Photographer

There's a hunk, a hunk of burnin' music filling the hallways at Clear Spring High School these days —  which leads you to believe that Elvis has not left the building.

"Jailhouse Rock," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender" — it's one chart-topper after another.

There are girls with ponytails, boys with greased-back hair, a few leather jackets and a little bit of hip-swiveling.

No, you haven't accidentally stumbled into a time warp.

And the snarling "King" is no where to be seen.

But the music of Presley is front and center in "All Shook Up," a musical that will be presented this weekend by Clear Spring High School's drama students.

The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 15.

Even if you're not an Elvis fan, Beth Smith, the school's choral and drama director, offers a bit of a warning: the music and enthusiasm are contagious.

"I would not be surprised if there were audience members dancing in the aisles by the end of the show," she said. "It's just a really good time."

Smith said the jukebox musical, which has had a run on Broadway, is based on a book by Joe DiPietro and shoehorns the songs of Elvis Presley into a tale of mismatched lovers in a 1955 midwest town.

"Natalie, the town mechanic, falls head over heels for a guitar-playing, motorcycle-riding roustabout named Chad, who arrives in town and stirs things up," Smith explained. "After Natalie tries dressing like one of the boys to get closer to Chad, she finds she's attracted the attention of the museum curator, Miss Sandra. When the mistaken identify is revealed, Chad discovers that he truly does love Natalie."

Smith said this particular show was selected "because the music is timeless and the story line is hilarious," she said. "I think it will be well-received."

It certainly has been well-received by students who have devoted a lot of time to rehearsals, Smith noted.

"We have all been singing the music nonstop for 10 weeks and we still love it. It's just a great show to produce with this age group," she said.

Among the songs that will be featured in the show are such Presley hits as "Burnin' Love," "It's Now or Never" and, of course, "All Shook Up."

The musical features Tessa Wiles as Natalie; Ryan Baker as plays Chad; Jared Mummert as Dennis; Kiersten Valko as Sylvia; Andrew Shupp as Jim; Emily Winters as Miss Sandra; Krista Miller as Mayor Mathilda; and Lorna Mullins as plays Lorraine. Virginia Livingston, a senior at Clear Spring, is the assistant director.

Smith said more than 40 students are involved in the cast and crew. The school presents only one show each year, she noted, "therefore, it's highly anticipated."

Despite the popularity over recent years of such shows as "Glee" and "High School Musical," Smith said she has always students who wanted to be involved in high school drama.

"I don't really see that 'Glee' has made an impact on my current students," she said. "Who knows? That could change in the future."

If you go ...       

WHAT: "All Shook Up"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14; 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 15.

WHERE: Clear Spring High School, 12630 Broadfording Road, Clear Spring

COST: Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, seniors and active military.

CONTACT: Call 301-766-8999, ext. 75225, to purchase tickets in advance.

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