, Salem, MA


August 9, 2012

Shakespeare meets Elvis

Joyce DeWitt stars in 'All Shook Up' at North Shore Music Theatre

Some people’s idea of a night out is to take in a play by Shakespeare. Others veer more toward rock ’n’ roll.

“All Shook Up,” which debuts Tuesday at the North Shore Music Theatre, starring Joyce DeWitt of television’s “Three’s Company,” should make all kinds of audiences happy, as it draws from both types of performance to create a unique evening of musical theater.

The story is based loosely on Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night,” in which all the main characters are in love — just not with each other.

At the same time, all the music in the show is by Elvis Presley and includes many of his greatest hits, along with a few lesser-known songs by the King of Rock ’n’ Roll.

“It is set to the music of Elvis, but it’s not about Elvis,” said Mark Ceceri, director of marketing at North Shore Music Theatre. “It’s a ’50s, fun, upbeat musical; it plays true to that style of the ’50s and ’60s.”

The action begins when a daring, handsome stranger named Chad rides into town on a motorcycle, just like Marlon Brando in “The Wild One,” and sets local hearts aflutter.

The plot he puts in motion may remind audiences of another movie, “Footloose,” in which a town preacher has outlawed dancing and rock ’n’ roll, causing teenagers to rebel.

“It’s very ‘Footloose,’ almost the same exact theme,” said Bill Hanney, owner and producer of the North Shore Music Theatre. “No fun, no dancing, no rock ’n’ roll.”

But instead of a male preacher, this backward town is glared over by a mayor, Matilda Hyde, played by DeWitt.

The actress is best-known for playing the plain but thoughtful roommate to Suzanne Somers’ ditzy blond bombshell in the hit ABC sitcom from the ’70s and ’80s.

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