All Shook Up Tour Rumbles Into Milwaukee Sept. 12; Susan Anton Stars

News   All Shook Up Tour Rumbles Into Milwaukee Sept. 12; Susan Anton Stars All Shook Up, the Broadway musical that married a fresh story to songs made famous by Elvis Presley, parks Sept. 12 at Milwaukee's Marcus Center for the first stop on its national tour.
Joe Mandragona
Joe Mandragona Photo by Joan Marcus

Joe Mandragona will play Chad, the handsome stranger who shakes things up in a drab 1950s-era American town, and Jenny Fellner (Mamma Mia!) will play Natalie, the girl who falls under his spell. Also in the cast are Susan Anton as Miss Susan, David Benoit as Sheriff Earl and Wally Dunn as Jim Haller.

All Shook Up has an original book by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change). Among the Presley tunes heard in the show are "Heartbreak Hotel," "Burning Love," "Love Me Tender," "Can't Help Falling in Love," "Jailhouse Rock," "Blue Suede Shoes," "A Little Less Conversation," "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel" and "All Shook Up." A cast album was released in spring 2005.

A spokesman for the tour confirmed that director Ashley approached the tour with fresh eyes and shifted some songs around since Broadway. There are also fresh tweaks to the libretto.

The Equity production will play 30 cities in 2006-07, including Orlando, Indianapolis, Boston, Appleton, Louisville, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Fort Lauderdale. Christopher Ashley, who directed the brightly colored Broadway production, which had a six-month run at the Palace Theatre in 2004-05, again directs.

Completing the cast are Beth Glover (Mayor Matilda Hyde), Valisia Lekae Little (Lorraine), Dennis Moench (Dennis), Brian Sears (Dean Hyde), Natasha Yvette Williams (Sylvia), Alicia Albright, Nick Cearley, Abbie Cooper, Randy Davis, Josh Franklin, Erin Greiner, William Hammonds, Tiffany Janene Howard, Matthew Kiernan, Mary Jo McConnell, Kevin McGlynn, Jermaine Rembert, Betsy Struxness, Kyle Vaughn, Aurelia Williams and Carla Woods. Producers Richard Martini, Allen Spivak, Albert Nocciolino and Magic Arts & Entertainment reunite the original Broadway design team, including set designer David Rockwell, costume designer David C. Woolard and lighting designer Donald Holder for the 2006-07 tour.

Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) choreographs.

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One of the selling points of the Broadway run was the potent work of music supervisor/arranger Stephen Oremus (Wicked), who flirted with rock, soul, gospel and rockabilly when addressing songs written by many composers and lyricists (Elvis tended to sing the work of other writers).

The Broadway cast included Cheyenne Jackson, Jenn Gambatese, Jonathan Hadary, Leah Hocking, Curtis Holbrook, Nikki M. James, John Jellison, Alix Korey, Mark Price and Sharon Wilkins.

The Broadway run of All Shook Up ended Sept. 25, 2005. It began previews Feb. 20 with an official opening March 24. The musical played 33 previews and 213 regular performances.

Visit www.allshookup.com.

The Broadway cast of <i>All Shook Up.</i>
The Broadway cast of All Shook Up. Photo by Joan Marcus
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