By Connie Brotzman
For a night of pure, toe-tapping fun USCB Center for the Arts in Beaufort has afeel-good show featuring rock tunes that will recharge your batteries after months of being in the garage! Elvis is in the house with the Broadway jukebox musical, “All Shook Up,” featuring his greatest songs of the 50’s and 60’s, and sure to have you jumpin’ out of your blue suede shoes!
It’s 1955, and Chad, a guitar-playing roustabout, rides into a fun- challenged, square little town on his
broken down motorcycle and proceeds to changeeveryone he meets. He is introduced to Natalie, a mechanic, and she agrees tofix his bike. She has been dreaming of adventure and a one true love to whisk her away from the boredom, and instantly decides that Chad is just such a knight in shining armor, even though he’s on a motorcycle rather than a horse.
Chad is played by Chris Barr, who has been performing in community theaters for many years, including Chattanooga Theatre Center and Sumter Players in southwest Georgia before moving to Beaufort two years ago. “Everywhere my family and I have lived we have found our sense of community with the local theaters,” said Chris. His wife, Christi, performs in the show’s ensemble, and their son, David, was cast in “Seussical” with Beaufort Children’s Theatre just before COVID hit. Chris has been supervisory park ranger at Reconstruction EraNational Historical Park since fall of 2019, and with the National Park Service for ten years.
Beaufort Theatre Company veteran, Lauren Tillapaugh, plays Natalie. She “grew up performing,” and was convinced by a friend to audition for “Mama Mia” to, as she explained, “… check it off of our bucket lists. It ended up being one of thebest experiences of my life and now BTC is a part of my family,” She and her husband, Jeff, are well- known in the community as the owners of the “go to” concierge service, Red Cap, which they started in 2014. Lauren also has her own printing business, LowcountryLetterpress.
Inspired by the music of Elvis Presley and the works of William Shakespeare, the characters and plot twists of Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream mix and meld delightfully with top favorite Elvis songs like, “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender” and Don’t Be Cruel,” as performed by the show’s cast, which includesBrad Ballington, Madeline Helser-Howard, Rosie Lydia, Alex Long, Ivan Campos, Caroline Fonseca, Melissa Florence, Greg Rawls, Collin Kindwell and Barry Reese. In addition to Christi, the ensemble includes Valencia King, Noah Krepps, Abby Mounce, Julie Siebold, Paul Newman and Kayla Denton. “The music just makes you want to jump out of your seat and dance!,” said Lauren.
When asked what they would like the audiences to walk away with after the show, Chris observed that the show has a great message about community andacceptance. “I have a short speech where I tell the people that they have a great town and great people. I hope they realize that Chad is not just talking about the fictional town, but also our own town, Beaufort.” Lauren said, “I want them to walk away full of the JOY that only live theater can bring – we need more of thatthese days!”
“All Shook Up” Inspired by and featuring the songs of ELVIS PRESLEY ® Book by JOE DIPIETRO, premiered on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in 2005, andtoured 35 cities from 2006 to 2007. Over the years since, it has been performed at regional theaters, colleges and high schools around the country.
Showtimes are September 18th, 24th and 25th at 7:30pm and Sunday,September 19th & 26th at 3:00pm. Tickets are $30/Adults,
$25/Seniors, and $15/Students. Go to our website, www.uscbcenterforthearts.com and get your tickets now to be All Shook Up.