All Shook Up
by Joe DiPietro
Now thru September 2
With a storyline built around Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and songs made famous by Elvis Presley, All Shook Up tells the story of a small town girl with big dreams and the motorcycle-riding stud she falls for. Blue Suede Shoes, Heartbreak Hotel, A Little Less Conversation, It’s Now or Never, and many more Elvis tunes! Directed by Kyle Ennis Turoff.)
Chef Caldwell's summer menu will be available for purchase separately.
Veiw our summer menu here.
Click the reviews tab to the right to see what the critics are saying!
6:00 pm July 12
Opening Night Celebration
($70; $30 tax deductible)
including a specially-prepared buffet dinner, the show, and a meet-and-greet post-show dessert reception.
6:00 pm July 14, 17-19, 21, 24-26, 28, 31
August 1, 2, 4, 7-9, 11, 14-16, 18, 21-23, 25, 28-30
September 1 ($30)
July 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 26
September 2 ($30)
July 14, 21, 28
August 4, 11, 18, 25
September 1 ($30)
‘All Shook Up’ a rollicking good time at Golden Apple
By Steven J. Smith
Professional theater is alive and well this summer season, as PLATO @ The Golden Apple has mounted a delightful evening’s entertainment in the form of “All Shook Up” — a spirited and rousing musical loosely (and I mean very loosely) based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”
In case you’ve been living under a rock, PLATO (the acronym for Professional Learning And Theatrical Organization, Inc.) was formed as a non-profit production company that now uses the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre as its main performance venue. This allows the company to accept tax-deductible donations from individuals, foundations, and companies. PLATO also keeps professional theatre alive at the Golden Apple and provides talented home-grown actors, singers, and dancers a place to flourish while other local professional venues — such as Asolo Rep, Florida Studio Theatre, and the Banyan Theater Company, for example — continue to foolishly import expensive principal performers from outside our area, then whine that they can’t afford to meet their budgets.
The storyline to “All Shook Up” — with a lighthearted book by Tony-Award winner Joe DiPietro (“Memphis”) and featuring songs made famous by Elvis Presley — follows Natalie (Nikki White), a lovelorn motorcycle mechanic, who falls for Chad (Logan O’Neill), a leather-jacketed roustabout who barely notices her. Disguising herself as a young man named Ed, Natalie sidles up to Chad as his sidekick and teaches him what to look for in a woman.
Sub-plots abound as other characters fall for those with whom they are ill suited, while blindly ignoring the true loves that stand before them. Sylvia (a soulful Ariel Blue) loves Jim (the charming and affable Jared Weldon), who longs for Miss Sandra (the funny and sexy Alana Opie), who has eyes for Ed, Natalie’s disguise. Dennis (in a nerdy, funny turn by Jason Kimble) wants Natalie while the silent, stoic Sheriff (Ben Turoff) secretly desires the town’s repressive — and repressed — mayor, Matilda (the irrepressible Helen Holliday). Only Sylvia’s daughter Lorraine and Matilda’s son Dean (Jaszy McAllister and Craig Wieskerger, in an interracial match made in heaven) clearly see they are meant for each other from the start.
Special mention must go to the leads. Mr. O’Neill offers us a charismatic and amusing homage to The King as the motorcycling womanizer Chad, and Nikki White gives a star turn as the funny and touching Natalie/Ed. Her voice is clear as a bell and she’s equally effective at playing both of her challenging roles. The entire cast is exemplary — right down to the electric ensemble of Jill Godfrey, Eric Gregory, Kelly Leissler, Caitlin Longstreet, Ellie McCaw, Travis Rogers, and Corinne Woodland. Cap it off with spirited choreography by Jill Godfrey, toe-tapping musical direction by Berry Ayers and the sure-handed direction of Kyle Ennis Turoff, and what you’ve got here is a show that is certain to please. I particularly enjoyed the numbers “Love Me Tender,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” “There’s Always Me,” and the energetic finale.
So what are you waiting for? Strap your honey on the back of your Harley, rev up your engine, and cruise on over to the Apple to check out PLATO’s production of the hottest — and coolest — show in town!
“All Shook Up” runs through Sept. 2. Tickets are $30 and Chef Caldwell’s summer menu is available for purchase separately. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming months for subsequent PLATO offerings such as the Tony-Award winning play “Take Me Out” (Oct. 2 – Nov. 11), the musicals “Meet Me in St. Louis” (Nov. 13 – Dec. 31) and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (Jan. 8 – Feb. 24, 2013), a TBA musical that rhymes with Camelot (Feb. 26 – April 7), the hit play “Lombardi” (April 16 – May 12, 2013) based on the legendary football coach, and the musical comedy “I’m Just Wild About Harry” (May 21 – June 30, 2013), based on the classic farce “Charlie’s Aunt.” For more information about any of these shows or to purchase tickets, log on to www.PLATO.org or call the Golden Apple’s box office at 941-366-5454.
Theater Review: 'All Shook Up'
Date: July 18, 2012
by: Paula Atwell | Theater Critic
Sorry folks, Elvis is not alive, but you can see his facsimile in the rock ’n’ roll musical, “All Shook Up,” now playing at PLATO @ The Golden Apple. Written by Joe DiPietro (author of “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” “Memphis,” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”), the story borrows loosely from the plot of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”
Kyle Ennis Turoff has energetically directed this mix-and-match tale of romantic mishaps set 1955 in a small town that is rocked on its heels by the arrival of guitar-toting, singing, motorcycling, heartbreaking hero, Chad, handsomely played by Logan O’Neill. Nikki White is adorable as Natalie, the garage mechanic who falls for him and transforms herself into a guy named Ed in order to be close to him. White makes this transformation funny — and almost believable — as the audience roots for her to win her man.
Notable thespian contributions to the B-story romances abound, including Jason Kimble as humble but hopeful Dennis; Jaszy McAllister as sweet Lorraine; Craig Weiskerger in a Romeo turn as Dean; Jared Weldon as Jim; and Ariel Blue as Sylvia. Rounding out the comedic end are Helen Holliday as Matilda; Alana Opie as Miss Sandra; and Ben Turoff as the strong and silent sheriff.
Featuring many of Presley’s most famous songs, the highly enjoyable music selections include, “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “A Little Less Conversation,” “Love Me Tender,” “Jailhouse Rock” and more than 25 songs by the time this lightweight, sentimental entertainment has reached a happy conclusion for all.
Jill Godfrey has created loads of ambitious choreography for the production and joins the enthusiastic ensemble in its execution. Remaining members of the young and cheerful cast are: Eric Gregory, Kelly Leisler, Caitlin Longstreet, Ellie McCaw, Travis M. Rogers and Corinne C. Woodland.
Michael Newton-Brown designed the sets, and David Walker designed the costumes. Musical director Don Sturrock’s live band includes drummer John Januszewski and guitar player Sam Zouari.
Theater Review: ‘All Shook Up’
By Kay Kipling
There could conceivably be thousands of ways to weave the songs of Elvis Presley into a stage musical, but the one playwright Joe DiPietro devised forAll Shook Up is a particularly successful one—fun both to watch and to hear.
DiPietro took an Elvis-like character (the motorcycle-riding, hip-swiveling Chad, played by Logan O’Neill in this PLATO production at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre) and plunked him down in 1950s small-town America—a town where public necking, rock ‘n’ roll and other forms of indecency are forbidden by the strict mayoress (Helen Holliday). Of course Chad will indeed shake things up, especially in the heart of grease monkey Natalie (Nikki White), who falls for him instantly, thereby depressing her best-friend-wannabe-boyfriend Dennis (Jason Kimble).
But Chad falls just as instantly (and when this happens, it’s always to the opening blare of One Night With You) for the town’s somewhat snooty but sexy museum director, Miss Sandra (Alana Opie). Oddly enough, she’s unaffected by him, seeking a more literary suitor. Meanwhile Natalie decides the best way to get close to Chad is to become his male sidekick, Ed, donning a ridiculous hunting hat and applying an equally ridiculous fake facial stubble, a la Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
There are plenty of other romances going on, too, like the interracial one between the mayor’s overprotected son (Craig Weiskerger) and the daughter (Jaszy McAllister) of the owner of the town’s honky tonk café (Ariel Blue), who in turn discovers she has a thing for Natalie’s widowed dad (Jared Weldon). It really does have the marks of one of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, just with the addition of all those great Elvis tunes like That’s All Right, It’s Now or Never, Blue Suede Shoes and Can’t Help Falling in Love.
When you open a show with an iconic rock tune like Jailhouse Rock, you’ve really got to come on strong, and the opening night beginning of All Shook Up was too tentative to have the impact it should have. But things quickly began to gel, as we discovered the true nature of the town with a rendering of Heartbreak Hotel and, eventually, moved into other forcefully sung ensemble numbers that played to the strengths of the cast. Act II was especially entertaining, with O’Neill at his most engaging in the comic confusion that ensues when he realizes his attraction to the “male” Ed. You can imagine what that would have meant to a 1950s stud.
Director Kyle Turoff has managed her cast capably for maximum effect, whether it’s Blue giving good sass, Opie turning up the sexual heat on Let Yourself Go or even just timing well the silent, gruff responses of sheriff Earl (Ben Turoff), the mayor’s accomplice in her decency crusade. At times you may want the small orchestra to come across a little more loudly and energetically on these beloved rock tunes. But in general you should find yourself, to paraphrase some of the lyrics to the show’s title tune, “a little mixed up but feeling fine.”
All Shook Up continues through Sept. 2; call 366-5454 or go to platoarts.orgfor tickets.
REVIEW: ‘All Shook Up’ moves to a Presley tune at Golden Apple
By Jay Handelman, Herald-Tribune / Friday, July 13, 2012
The musical “All Shook Up” is shaking things up for patrons at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre this summer.
Logan O’Neill plays an Elvis Presley-like drifter and Nikki White plays the young mechanic who falls for him in the musical “All Shook Up.” DON WALKER PHOTO/PLATO
From the bouncy “Jailhouse Rock” to the sweet harmonies of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” the musical puts a new twist on Elvis Presley favorites in a light story drawn from William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” with “Grease” influences.
It may sound like an odd juxtaposition but it works just fine in this second outing for PLATO at the Golden Apple, the new non-profit operation.
Logan O’Neill puts a lot of swagger into his role as an Elvis-like “roustabout,” a motorcycle-riding, guitar-playing drifter named Chad who can make girls (and a few men) swoon with just a glance. Dressed in black with the requisite blue suede shoes, O’Neill gives a fun caricature of a performance with heart, especially in the second act.
In the 1950s, Chad shows up in a small town run by an uptight mayor with strict rules against dancing and kissing in public. She sees Chad as the “Devil in Disguise.” He meets the local mechanic, a pretty but tomboyish girl named Natalie, who instantly falls for Chad, but he only has eyes for the museum director, Miss Sandra.
Logan O’Neill sings a variety of Elvis Presley hits in the musical “All Shook Up” presented by PLATO at the Golden Apple. DON WALKER PHOTO/PLATO
n order to get closer to Chad, Natalie disguises herself as a guy named Ed, and it works, much to Chad’s humorous consternation. He can’t be attracted to a man, can he?
You’ve seen stories with this kind of cross-dressing, mismatched attraction before, but it’s all played for laughs in a production that has been staged with spirit by Kyle Ennis Turoff and choreographed by Jill Godfrey to get everybody shaking.
There are some ragged and slow moments, the wigs are woefully inadequate, and some of the performances are too superficial. But when the story takes hold in the second half, you may well find yourself laughing out loud.
Nikki White is charming as Natalie, but even more so as Ed awkwardly tries to seduce a surprised Chad. Jason Kimble is a nerdy delight and one of the show’s highlights as Dennis, who has quietly held a torch for Natalie for years. Helen Holliday is comically wound up as Mayor Matilda, while Alana Opie has a snooty appeal as Sandra. And there’s some genuine tenderness in the gasp-inducing interracial relationship played by Craig Weiskerger and Jaszy McAllister. Ariel Blue has some sass as a bar owner named Sylvia.
Helen Holiday, center, plays an uptight mayor trying to limit fun in her small town in the musical “All Shook Up,” presented by PLATO at the Golden Apple. DON WALKER PHOTO/PLATO
You’ll hear a wide range of Presley hits at the drop of a cleverly set-up song cue, and the songs are mostly well performed under the musical direction of Berry Ayers.
Michael Newton-Brown’s sets have a light, cartoonish, 1950s appeal and are well matched by David Walker’s costumes, which shift from drab browns to bright colors once Chad’s appeal takes hold. Alex Newberry’s lighting creates a little colorful magic.
It’s far from perfect, but “All Shook Up” provides an evening of light fun for a hot summer night.