Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WRHS gets 'All Shook Up'

Spring musical to stir things up

Express Staff Writer

The Wood River High School Performing Arts Academy and the Drama Department present "All Shook Up" at the Community Campus in Hailey. Photo by David N. Seelig

Get ready for some toe tapping and finger snapping at the Wood River High School spring musical, "All Shook Up." Presented by the Wood River High School Performing Arts Academy and Drama Department, the musical is set in the Wood River Valley with a backdrop of Baldy looming above the stage.

"All Shook Up" is called a "jukebox musical" and features the music of Elvis Presley. The story is based on William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." Joe DiPietro wrote the book "All Shook Up," which the musical incorporates.

"It's similar to 'Footloose,'" said director Karl Nordstrom. "The show is set in a conservative town where there is no dancing. Then, a rebel comes to town and changes it."

Nordstrom said "All Shook Up" is a comedic, light-hearted show that has pushed and stretched the student actors. He said the original spring production was going to be "Chicago," but permission rights were not granted. He said he is glad to do an uplifting show in its place.

Due to time restraints, Nordstrom had to be creative about rehearsing. Since music accompaniment was tough to come by because of conflicting schedules, he downloaded a digital score of the show to his computer and amplified it for the students' rehearsals.

"Max Stimac, the music director, was excited, and he was glad we spent time on the songs," Nordstrom said. "The music is the most important part of this production."

Vocal coaches Paula Schwab and Kim Stocking joined the production to fine-tune all the vocals throughout the production. The cast is engaged especially in the larger numbers such as "Burnin' Love." Choreography by Sara Gorby is sexy, fun and hip, and Dorinda Rendahl assisted on piano accompaniment.

"There are 20 kids in the cast and a full rock 'n' roll band," Nordstrom said. "Elizabeth Dion painted a backdrop depicting the Wood River Valley with a mix of past and present storefronts."

"All Shook Up" opens with a dress rehearsal with a donation request on Wednesday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Campus theatre in Hailey. Performances will continue Thursday, April 23, through Saturday, April 25, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for students.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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