BHS Presents “All Shook Up” Musical
Basalt Education Foundation is pleased to support the musical-theatre program at Basalt High School with a $5,000 donation this year. Here’s the scoop on this year’s student musical, All Shook Up.
When Brittany von Stein took the job as the Basalt High School choir director last year, she knew she wanted to produce a spring musical that allowed plenty of students to shine.
“I’d heard there would be a lot of talented kids who would audition for the show,” said von Stein. “I went with All Shook Up, because it has multiple lead roles. Plus, the supporting ensemble is just as important as the leads. Every single character helps to tell the story.”
The story is set in 1955 and focuses on an Elvis-inspired “roustabout” named Chad, who rolls into a town under the rule of an uptight mayor. In addition to instigating several mixed-up love stories, he shakes up the staid scene with a whole lot of rock and roll, namely 25 of Elvis’ greatest hits performed by the cast of 24 — from upbeat “Jailhouse Rock” to poignant “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
The lead role of lip-curling Chad is portrayed by BHS senior Miguel Fabela in his very first theater production ever. “He’s only off stage a total of about 10 minutes,” said producer and music director von Stein. “But he’s totally risen to the occasion. He’s become that character.”
Marisa Post, who has long directed plays and musicals in the valley and serves as All Shook Up‘s director and choreographer, agreed: “Miguel is quite a talent. Though he’s new to the stage, his instincts are so natural, even without instruction. It’s been such a joy to see him go from, ‘I don’t know if I can handle this’ to completely comfortable in the show.”
Post admits she wasn’t familiar with “All Shook Up” before being approached by von Stein to direct the musical. “After reading it I was charmed by the exploration of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Elvis’ lyrics,” she said. “I said yes to the job before I even met Brittany in person. From day one, when we started chatting on the phone, I knew it was a good union.”
Von Stein is quick to praise for Post’s expertise. “We’ve got a 40-year age spread between us,” said von Stein, who graduated from Ohio State University with a music education degree in 2015. “But we complement each other really well. She comes in with so much knowledge from years of experience, and I am able to share a fresh approach to things.”
Von Stein credits Post for holding the two dozen student performers to a high standard. “She expects conservatory-quality performances, and the cast has totally stepped up.”
While half the cast is new to performing in high-school musicals, the line-up does feature some key veterans, including senior Courtney Aitken in her fourth BHS musical production. She plays tomboyish, yet hopeful romantic, Natalie opposite Chad. “Courtney has been such a big help and a huge leader in bringing along all the newbies,” said von Stein.
Aitken, who plans to pursue a theatre career after high school, said she’s enjoying All Shook Up for the same reason von Stein chose this particular musical: the unusual number of lead roles. “It’s been so fun watching everyone transform themselves into someone completely different when they step on stage.”
Adds Miguel Fabela, who plays motorcycle-driving Chad: “It’s been quite a ride.”
All Shook Up takes place at Basalt Middle School auditorium Thursday, March 10, 7pm; Friday March 11, 7pm; Saturday March 12, 2pm and 7pm. Cost is $8 students; $12 adults.