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Theater

'All Shook Up' blends 'The Bard' and 'The King'

| Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, 12:03 a.m.

The 2004 jukebox musical, “All Shook Up” combines two of Will Dixon’s fondest childhood loves: Elvis Presley and Shakespeare.

“My mother taught Shakespeare and I was too young to take the class, but I was always fascinated,” says Dixon of Greensburg, who is co-directing a production of the musical with Katti Grosso of Latrobe Sept. 6-9 at Geyer Performing Arts Center.

As for Presley being his fan favorite, Dixon once gave a 15-minute presentation about “the king of rock ‘n’ roll” when he was assigned a 3-minute talk and a paper about a famous musician that changed the music industry.

So when he heard Actors and Artists of Fayette County was planning the musical inspired by Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” with modern language and the 1950s music of Elvis, Dixon was all in.

‘Hilarity ensues’

“The show has a sweet message about being yourself against all odds, but it takes the characters a long time and a lot of humiliation to get there. Hilarity ensues,” he says.

Grosso says the show offers a powerful message about not judging others, becoming a community and how everyone deserves to experience love and have someone to be happy with.

Andy Hayes of Greensburg portrays the motorcycle-riding Chad.

Chad isn’t Elvis, but his dance moves are, Hayes says.

Reagan DeFazio of Irwin plays Natalie, a small town mechanic and tomboy willing to try anything to find love.

“My biggest challenge is finding my inner guy,” she says.

Her recent stage credits include “The Addams Family” at Comtra Theatre in Cranberry and “Crazy for You” at Westinghouse Arts Academy, where she is a senior.

Hayes has performed in “No Sex Please, We’re British” for Greensburg Civic Theatre, as well as “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Singing in the Rain” and “West Side Story” at Geyer Performing Arts Center.

“All Shook Up” features two dozen of Presley’s most popular songs, including “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Burning Love” and the title tune. David Bridge is musical director.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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