“All Shook Up” is a
2005 musical by Joe DiPietro, author of “I Love You, You’re
Perfect, Now Change” and “Over the River and Through the Woods.” The
show’s entire score is from the works of Elvis Presley, many of his most
popular songs including “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender,”
and “Blue Suede Shoes.” The music is set to a hilarious book that is an
adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
The musical is set in
a twenty-four hour period, during the summer of 1955, in a small obscure
town somewhere in the Midwest. Chad, a roustabout, rides into a
depressing town on his motorcycle. The arrival of Chad soon causes many
of the individuals in the town to fall in love with all the wrong
people. Jim, who recently lost his wife, secretly thinks about dating
again, but finds love in an unusual place. Two teenagers try to weather
a forbidden love. Chad soon catches the eye of the town’s mechanic,
Natalie, who dreams of finding love and seeking life on the open road.
Chad has eyes only for the town’s intellectual museum curator. But she
only has eyes for a mysterious new man in town. The play is about
finding love in the most unusual places, and no matter what, fighting
for it and never letting go.
“All Shook Up” deals
with a small town in the 1950’s still struggling with segregation. The
original Broadway cast, and most subsequent casts, feature both
African-American and white performers.