Through the Cappies program, selected students from participating schools critique shows from other area high schools, and the best critiques are chosen and sent to newspapers for publication. The national program of Cappies began in 1999. The following are reviews of Blue Springs South High School’s play, “All Shook Up.”

Through the Cappies program, selected students from participating schools critique shows from other area high schools, and the best critiques are chosen and sent to newspapers for publication. The national program of Cappies began in 1999. The following is a review of Blue Springs South High School’s play, “All Shook Up.”

 

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Rebellious infatuation runs amuck when the defiant, young “roustabout” Chad rolls into a dreary little Midwestern town on his motorbike in search of a good mechanic. His “cool guy” attitude and swagger transforms the town from sad “Heartbreak Hotel” singers, to a chorus obsessed with their newfound “Burning Love.” But what happens when love makes the player lose his own game? Blue Springs South High School answers this question in their production of “All Shook Up.”

Originally performed in 2005, “All Shook Up” puts an “Elvis Era” spin on the Shakespearian classic, “Twelfth Night.” “All Shook Up” uses a medley of Elvis Presley classics such as “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Blue Suede Shoes” to tell the tale of a string of hopeless romantics.

As Chad, the roustabout, rolls in to the dreary little town, women are instantly smitten by his intriguing style and bad boy attitude. Amongst the smitten is Natalie, a young, pretty “Tomboy” who wants to be more than Chad’s mechanic. Natalie even goes as far as to dress up as a boy, Ed, to infiltrate the rebel’s overworked heart and convince Chad that she is the one for him. Natalie is the last thing on Chad’s mind when he becomes infatuated with the museum owner Miss Sandra. As the production progresses, the mixed up love triangles and topsy-turvy heart-throbs find their true love and resolve themselves into a final scene of wedded bliss.

William Pecota plays the “roustabout,” Chad, to a comedic and energetic tee. Pecota uses his  voice to express his love to the audience in songs like “Teddy Bear” and the title piece “All Shook Up.” Pecota blends exceptionally well with his leading lady, Alexis Taylor. Taylor plays the love-struck Natalie very well and sends the audience into side splitting laughter as she transforms into her male alter ego, Ed. Taylor’s lovable character and voice leaves the audience wanting to see her heart satisfied. Taylor's comedic attempts to swoon Pecota create moments of laughter throughout the audience. Pecota and Taylor complement one another on the stage immensely well, pleasing all in the audience.

Wiley Bottcher plays the role of Dennis, the sad, nerdy romantic whose sole purpose in life is to admit his love for Natalie. Bottcher gains the sympathy of the audience when his numerous attempts to create a spark with Natalie never prevail. Bottcher’s spirit never diminishes and the audience is left with a sense of joy when he finds his true love in an unsuspecting way. Equally entertaining is Kelsey Bell, playing the role of Lorraine. Bell’s comedic acting and unparalleled voice leaves the audience desiring more from her.

The technical aspects of the show help further its success. The remarkable set is lit with colored and moving lights, helping the audience travel into an era of sock hops and soda fountains. Costumes are period correct and accentuate the characters onstage, bringing them to life. The stage crew moves with silence and stealth throughout the production without ever being seen or heard.

One cannot help but be moved by the romance displayed onstage, to laugh at the utter hilarity of the situation and feel a yearning to return to “the good ol’ days” as he or she watches Blue Springs South High School in their remarkable production of “All Shook Up.”