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West Jordan Journal

Elvis and Shakespeare collide in fun musical

Jun 29, 2018 03:36PM ● By City Journals Staff

Cast members get quite a workout in dance rehearsals for Sugar Factory Playhouse’s “All Shook Up,” opening July 12 (Travis Green)

By Bob Bedore | [email protected] 

The Sugar Factory Playhouse is about to “Shake Up” West Jordan — in the best way possible. 

The local theater company is pleased to present its latest show, “All Shook Up,” and fans of Elvis, ‘50s dance steps, slicked-back hair, romance and Shakespeare have a lot to be excited about. 

Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” “All Shook Up” tells the story of a small-town girl with big dreams from somewhere in the middle of a square state in the middle of a square decade and the motorcycle-riding stud she falls for. But the romance isn’t reserved for just them; half the town gets caught up in love. As the town bartender, Silvis, says, “Somethings going on in this town.” “All Shook Up” is inspired by and features the songs of Elvis Presley and the book by Joe DiPierto. It is directed by Michelle Groves. 

“The show is super fun,” said Brian Buhler, who plays the Elvis-like roustabout Chad. “The singing, the dancing and the script is absolutely hilarious.” 

The cast features many West Jordan residents, including Buhler, Brieanna Michaelis, Caleb Hintze, Jeannie Hawkins and MeriLynne Michaelis. Michele Groves, who has directed and acted in many Sugar Factory shows over the years, is also a resident. 

Many of Elvis’ biggest hits have been worked into the musical. You’ll tap your toes to the likes of “Burning Love,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and a whole lot more. The cast has been working hard on the dance moves and is excited to get the show in front of an audience. 

For Buhler, this show has had him playing a little outside of his comfort zone. It’s not easy for a 16-year-old to tap into the swiveled hips and snarled lip that has melted the legs of screaming girls for decades, but this young actor is more than up for the task. 

“Right now, the hardest part is keeping up the energy of the character the whole time, but I’m having a great time,” the young actor said, a smile always on his face that’s sure to do nearly as much damage to female hearts as the King himself. 

“All Shook Up” first ran on Broadway in 2005 and has become a popular show for schools, regional theaters and tours. Strangely enough, there have been two long stays of the show in Seoul, South Korea. For the tour in the United Kingdom, the show’s title was changed to “Love Me Tender.” 

Some might remember the show being in the news locally back in 2013 when Herriman High School was about to perform the show and some parents complained that it was too racy. The cast was allowed to make some changes, and the show was allowed to continue. 

But don’t worry about anything with this show; it’s full of Elvis charm and all the ‘50s goodness the stage can handle. It’s deemed appropriate for all ages. 

Performances will be July 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21 and 23 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on July 14 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center (695 Center Street). Doors open a half hour before the show, and seating is unassigned. 

Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for children (12 and under), seniors (60 and over), students (with ID) and groups of 10 or more (must purchase tickets at the same time). You may purchase tickets in advance at Macey’s grocery store in West Jordan (7859 South 3200 West) or at the door with cash or check.