Northwestern’s ‘All Shook Up’ was rowdy, ridiculous and lovable
While there’s nothing new under the sun, a new twist on an old theme is always fresh.
Joe DiPietro’s musical, “All Shook Up,” based on “Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night” with songs made famous by Elvis was recently performed onstage at Northwestern Lehigh High School.
The play centers around a small town with a very strict mayor, Matilda Hyde, played by Lauren Terrell, and her trusty Sheriff Earl, portrayed by Zach Fry.
Hyde has done her best to make the town quiet and upstanding ... and boring.
The musical opens with Chad, played by Porter Lilley, leaving jail.
He heads into the very same small town just as the townspeople are complaining about how loveless things have become.
Chad arrives on his motorcycle with his wild guitar and dance moves.
The town comes alive with music and love.
Natalie Haller, played by Savannah Madeira, a mechanic’s daughter, falls for Chad immediately.
But Chad isn’t interested in romance. He wants a sidekick.
That is until Miss Sandra, a blond bombshell portrayed by Bailey DeJesus arrives, then Chad changes his mind.
Seeing her man directing his attentions to another woman, Natalie devises a plan to dress up as a man, Ed, to be Chad’s best sidekick, throwing a wrench into everyone’s plans.
Dennis, the soon-to-be dentist played by Aaron Palma, secretly loves Natalie, while Sylvia portrayed by Gwen McArdle, the feisty honky-tonk owner secretly loves Jim Haller, played by Matthew Lucarelli.
Jim confesses to Chad that he’s in love with a woman — Miss Sandra — who doesn’t love him back.
Chad gives Jim a much-needed lesson in coolness.
Complications arise for teens in love for the first time.
Mayor Matilda’s son, Dean Hyde, played by Steven Sukley and Sylvia’s daughter, Lorraine, portrayed by Kylie Masters decide running away is their only option because theirs is a forbidden love.
All the couples accidentally meet at the abandoned fairgrounds and couples profess their love for each other.
Natalie finally reveals that she is Ed and confesses her love for Chad.
Dennis and Miss Sandra connect over their love of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
And finally long-suffering silent Sheriff Earl tells Mayor Matilda he loves her singing, “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”
The fast-paced dialogue, recognizable music and familiar Shakespearean “in-love-the-wrong-person” theme make “All Shook Up” a laugh- and sing-out-loud rowdy musical.
The outstanding performances by a talented cast and ensemble could snag a few Freddy nominations.
These performance awards are given for exceptional accomplishments in the production and performance of musical theater in high schools.
“We’re a small school,” director Bill Mutimer said. “But there’s a lot of talent.”
Mutimer said that nominating representatives from the Freddys were present each night of the play.
“That way, if an actor has an off night, there will be someone to see all the other nights — and the better performances,” Mutimer stated. “Sometimes it’s hard to compete against schools that have a larger budget than we do. But we have dedicated theater kids and parents who help with every performance.”
Freddy nominations will be announced on May 7. The awards ceremony will be presented May 21.