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09Mar

ALL SHOOK UP @ A.P. Schalick High School

Critique #1
AP Schalick's entertaining production of All Shook Up promotes "A Little Less Conversation" and a lot more excitement! "It's Now or Never" to enjoy this delightful mix of drama, love triangles, and humor.

Featuring hits by Elvis Presley, All Shook Up is a jukebox musical with a story written by Joe DiPietro. It follows the intertwining romances across a small town in the 1950's. Their lives are quiet until the rowdy roustabout Chad shows up and turns the town upside down with the power of music and love!

With energetic choreography and masterful comedic timing, AP Schalick's All Shook Up left a constant smile on my face. Along with the period-appropriate costumes and set, the actors had an understanding of what they were saying that helped cement the realism of the setting. With all the loose ends tied up at the end, I felt the happiness of the characters through the actors' portrayal.

The leading actors all fit their characters perfectly. The duality of Molly Wood as she played both Natalie and Ed was impressive. Her voice and mannerisms were distinct as both characters, even when she sang, such as in "A Little Less Conversation" as Ed. Chris Crawford Jr. as Chad was funny and charming with an amazing voice showcased in "Follow That Dream" and "Jailhouse Rock." There were moments when the staging was distracting as Chad directed many of his lines to the audience, but this often added to his comedic timing.

The supporting characters and ensemble matched the energy of the leads the entire show. Tayla Evans as Mayor Matilda was perfect at making me dislike her with her attitude, and even better at changing my mind to like her character in "Devil in Disguise." The townspeople also deserve a mention. Lizzie Vastano, one of the barflies, caught my attention in every number with her energy and engagement. The ensemble seemed to shine in songs with more of a story element. It seemed as if in certain dance numbers, they lost their characters altogether and focused more on the difficult choreography than their facial expressions. Despite this, each member of the ensemble perfected the choreography with sharp, precise movements.

The tech in this show was simple, but effective. The use of light on the walls to create the illusion of prison bars in "Jailhouse Rock" was very creative. The pinks and reds used as mood lighting in a few scenes created a warm atmosphere. The lack of live music removed some immersion from the otherwise lifelike set and environment, and there were some microphone issues which were distracting at certain points. Overall, these were minor issues and never detracted from the energy and pure fun that All Shook Up provided. 

With a range of funny and quirky characters portrayed amazingly by the students at AP Schalick, All Shook Up is perfect for a night of entertainment. With twists and turns at every corner, this show was a lovely experience that left me feeling "All Shook Up!"
Review submitted by Deirdre Rambo of Overbrook High School.

 

Critique #2
What do you get when you combine the King of Rock and Roll and the Bard of Avon? Apparently, All Shook Up, a musical performed zealously last weekend by AP Schalick High School with unmatched enthusiasm, energy, and passion for the stage.

All Shook Up is the only show where the magnitude of musical numbers may be bested by the sheer intensity of hip swivels. Set in the 1950s, this jukebox musical begins when a leather jacket-donning roustabout named Chad arrives in a small town oppressed by the imperious Mayor Matilda Hyde. Dancing to the tune of Elvis Presley hits, he manages to turn this downtrodden group of hopefuls into pining love birds. All you need is “you, your music, and your pelvis” as AP Schalick conquers the era with grit that the King just might appreciate himself.

This musical demands a high caliber of energy, and AP Schalick brought a liveliness to the stage that left the audience buzzing. With a small but skilled ensemble, this production was set apart by its impressive dance numbers, colorful costumes, and playful humor.

Chris Crawford Jr.’s Chad demands attention with an incredible range and hips that swivel with a purpose. With energizing numbers like “Teddy Bear/Hound Dog” and the hilarious “I Don’t Want To,” Crawford’s vocals have an inexplicable air of professionalism. Molly Wood takes on the challenge of performing as a man and a woman as Natalie/Ed, a task that seems daunting but is handled with grace. Marlena Robinson’s Miss Sandra is comically feisty in “Let Yourself Go”, and Sam DeCou’s Dennis personifies nerdiness with every quip.

Tayla Evans as Mayor Matilda Hyde’s strong point was “Devil in Disguise”, finalizing the song with a priceless flick of American flags out of her dress. An unexpectedly delightful addition to the fun was Joseph Viso’s Sheriff Earl, whose silence throughout the show left the audience stunned when he revealed his side-splitting secret. The featured dancers were a standout, performing high kicks with ease, while the ensemble, particularly Andrea Ellis of the Barfly Trio, stunned with impeccable vocals and dedication to the time period.

The creativity demonstrated was fantastic, such as the student-made 1950s signs and the hand-sprayed kicks that made numbers like “Blue Suede Shoes” possible. Though some scene changes were somewhat noisy, stage manager Gianna Dotti ensured that they were quick, efficient, and not too distracting. There were minor microphone issues, but they could not disturb the exciting show at hand.

With an unparalleled vivacity and zeal, the audience can’t help falling in love with this amazing production. One night with AP Schalick was all it took to demonstrate the talent, passion, and cleverness that left the theater All Shook Up.
Review submitted by Sarah Nicell of Delsea Regional High School.

 

​​​​​​​Critique #3
It’s now or never: don’t miss out on AP Schalick’s production of "All Shook Up!" It’s packed with plenty of crazy pelvic movements, tons of subtle yet hilarious humor, and of course, Elvis! So come on out, the audience can’t help falling in love with this one! 

In an oddly depressing town where the mayor is against public necking and springing into musical numbers, one girl’s dream is to finally find a man great enough for a “grease monkey” like herself. When a guitar-playing, leather jacket-wearing stud visits the small town, he intends to bring back burning romance and the exciting life of rock & roll. Love isn’t that easy however, it has it’s ironic ways of bringing certain people together. 

The production overall was truly energizing and out of this world! The hints of humor throughout the entirety of the show were perfectly executed. From dancing to accents, there was a flawless blend of talent all over the stage. 

Chris Crawford Jr. did an amazing job as Chad, the stud who is truly love’s fool. His voice was stunning, especially when harmonizing with other characters. His presence on stage was truly captivating, giving the audience a look at what Elvis loved to do, moving his pelvis! Molly Wood, the very interesting Natalie Haller, stole the show plenty of times! Not only does she have a beautiful voice and wonderful presence on stage, but her portrayal of Ed was beyond astonishing! She’s a great vocalist, even as the manly and womanizing Ed. 

Alondra Del Olmo, the actress behind Sylvia, was a great addition to the show. Her voice was a lovely thing to listen to, like Elvis, she sung with her heart. Christian Harridan did an outstanding job as Dean Hyde, the character with quite a journey throughout the production. His humorous portrayal of Dean had the audience laughing quite a lot and was truly a highlight of the show. 

The costumes throughout the show, as well as hair and makeup, truly created an authentic feel of the 50’s. It gave the audience an excellent look at the time period, and took us all back in time for the show. Although there were a few issues with the mics, each and every character on stage did an amazing job with their lines and powered through, allowing for the audience to fall in love with their captivating voices. 

This town is far from being average, the love that radiates for miles from it makes for the perfect musical. AP Schalick can take you through a roller coaster of emotions, so if you’re lonesome tonight don’t hesitate to sit in for their impressive production! 
Review submitted by Vanessa Macias of Lindenwold High School

 

About the Author

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Program Director - FY20 Season

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