Director Helen Hart tells me this is the "original" All Shook Up developed in 2004 which deals directly with the race issue. Apparently there was another version that tempered this as a "class" issue. Certainly the two African American actresses Traci Gibson and Cahlia Lanier were highlights of this show -- as were the Hart Franke brothers Philip and John-Weston as hip-swiveling roustabout and nerdy suitor, respectively. Molly Ostrem was versatile and endearing as Natalie the mechanic and her alter-ego, "Ed." Rachel Mender was a hoot as the repressive, hot-pink Mayor, trying to enforce the Mamie Eisenhower Decency Act in a constant stream of talk, silencing her Sheriff sidekick (Jeff Warder) at every turn, as she hunted down her "wayward" son (Eric Figura).
Mark and I were pleased to see some Riverwalk Follies veterans: David Mackson as the charming widower rediscovering his passion with a crush on the lovely, elusive Miss Sandra (Rachel Doriean) -- and Michael Chan, shining in the many ambitious dance numbers that managed to get everybody rocking, even those without Michael's grace and training. Kudos to the choreography team of Helen Hart and son John.
The music was prerecorded, and the scene changes, though quick, were done with full curtain pulling, which did bring in a few pauses - but the enthusiasm and energy rolled on, with 24 Elvis hits from Heartbreak Hotel to Can't Help Falling in Love. The ensemble included 22 adult and college-age actors plus a children's cast of 10 added to select numbers.
ONE WEEKEND ONLY!7 pm Saturday4 pm Sunday
Hannah Center on Abbot Road, East Lansing
Tickets at the door $15.00/each or
Purchased Online Via Credit Card For $17.00/each - there is a link at www.bluelightplayers.com
Blue Light Players is a musical theatre group dedicated to raising funds for the families of fallen police officers.