NAPPANEE — Elvis Presley fans won’t want to miss “All Shook Up,” currently on stage at Amish Acre’s Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee.
The musical is inspired by and features more than 20 Presley songs, opening with “Jailhouse Rock,” and closing with ”Burning Love.” Other popular songs include “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Love Me Tender,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and the title song, ”All Shook Up.”
It’s the story of a biker who stops in a small laid-back town to have his bike repaired. He finds the mechanic is a woman, Natalie, and she falls instantly in love with him.
The musical is full of mixed up love affairs — Natalie, (Abby Murray Vachon) loves Chad, the biker, (Carl Glenn). Chad loves Miss Sandra (Kayla Ricker) from the museum. Jim (Rory Dunn), Natalie’s dad, loves Miss Sandra. Sylvia (Jazzë Lewis), a business woman, loves Jim. Dennis (Alex Brown), a young man about to enter college, loves Natalie. Miss Sandra loved Ed because he brought her a poem meant for Natalie from Dennis. Chad also falls in love with Ed. Sheriff Earl (Don Hart) loves Mayor Matilda Hyde (Jordan Tudor). And, Lorraine (Chakendra Fennell) loves Dean (Will Herndon) and he loves her.
The show keeps you guessing. Who is going to end up in whose arms? Who will marry who?
Vachon steals the show. She decides she can get closer to Chad as a man. So, she becomes Ed, one of the guys. She’s funny and keeps the audience in stitches as she tries to ignore Miss Sandra’s advances. Dennis, of course, knows her true identity and objects to Ed. He is constantly trying to find a way to expose her. Vachon, a native of Mishawaka, is fast becoming an Amish Acres favorite. She is magnificent as she tries her best to get Chad to pay attention to her. Glenn is cool and groovy as the biker. He turns in an excellent performance.
Dunn is superior, as always, as Natalie’s father and a widower. All of a sudden, out of the blue, he kisses Sylvia, whom he has known for the last 20 years. But that doesn’t mean he’s not still chasing Miss Sandra.
Lewis, Fennell, Brown, Ricker and Herndon each add much to the show. All deserve a tip of the hat for their first-rate performances.
Mayor Matilda Hyde (Jordan Tudor) is against everything — no kissing, no dancing … and she doesn’t like the girl her son, Dean is dating. Tudor handles her character well and gives a high quality performance as the disgruntled mayor. The sheriff is always by her side, and always quieted when he goes to talk. Hart is excellent as the man who does the mayor’s every wish. That is until he delights the audience as he objects to the mayor’s wishes and then requests her hand in marriage.
When things get bad, many go to the old fairgrounds to hide. But the mayor isn’t fooled. She arrives to look for her son and anyone else who isn’t obeying her rules.
And credit goes to the hard working members of the ensemble — Kaitlyn Casanova, Aaron Gilmer, Karie Post and Nick Wheeler. They add to the success of the show.
“All Shook Up,” is on stage through July 17. Call (800) 800-4942 or online at amishacres.com for more information.