April 4, 2018

VSU Theatre and Dance Brings Elvis Presley to South Georgia with “All Shook Up” April 5-11

All Shook Up

VSU Theatre and Dance will present "All Shook Up" April 5-11.

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University Theatre and Dance members are breaking out their blue suede shoes to present “All Shook Up” — a musical featuring the tunes of rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley — April 5-11 in Sawyer Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.

Written by Tony Award-winning playwright Joe Dipietro, “All Shook Up” is an energetic Broadway production set in the 1950s that takes themes from “Hairspray,” “Footloose,” and William Shakespeare’s 1602 comedy “Twelfth Night” to create a musical laced with humor and romance.

“The play tells the story of a roustabout who rides into a small town on a motorcycle, wearing a leather jacket and swaying the young folks with the ‘magic’ of music,” said Jacque Wheeler, artistic director of VSU Theatre and Dance and director of “All Shook Up.” “It’s a lot of rockin’ around and singing and dancing.”

The play includes many slapstick scenarios, such as a girl dressing up as a boy to impress the man of her dreams only to have her mistaken identity backfire. But there are also more dramatic plot lines, such as the town mayor being concerned with the “mixing of the races” only to reveal a shocking secret of her own.

“While definitely a comedy, there are several underlying themes that deal with more serious issues, such as race relations of the mid-20th century and the attitudes toward rock-and-roll music when it first emerged,” Wheeler said.

“When Elvis wrote his music, adults thought that it was leading young people to wrack and ruin. When he appeared on television shows, they only showed him from the waist up because they thought the way he moved was provocative. They thought his music was corrupting the moral fabric of the country, and preachers railed against the ‘devil music’ from the pulpit.

“Of course we don’t see it that way today, but the play explores these attitudes. It’s all done with laughter and in an open but humorous way.” 

“All Shook Up” features all the Elvis classics, including “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”

“There’s a lot of catchy songs,” said Emma Marsico, the production’s stage manager. She is a theatre production major from Orlando, Florida, who expects to graduate in Spring 2021. “It’s a family-friendly show. It’s big and fun, and everybody worked really hard on it. It’s going to be a good time for everyone.”

The musical is presented in two acts with an intermission. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, through Saturday, April 7; 3 p.m. Sunday, April 8; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 9, through Wednesday, April 11.

Individual tickets for “All Shook Up” are $17 for adults, $14 for senior citizens, $11 for children and non-VSU students, and free for all VSU students with a valid 1Card. Tickets for groups of 10 or more people at a single performance are $10 per person. 

Tickets may be reserved by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday or by visiting www.ticketreturn.com 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Oak Street and Brookwood Drive, and may be reached by calling (229) 333-5973. Sawyer Theatre is located on the first floor.

VSU Theatre and Dance is committed to fostering excellence within its theatre performance, theatre production, theatre management, musical theatre, and dance programs while also contributing to the lifelong learning and cultural development of the citizens of South Georgia, North Florida, and beyond. “All Shook Up,” VSU’s annual musical theatre production, concludes the 2017-2018 performance season.

Contact VSU Theatre and Dance at (229) 253-2914 to learn more.

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