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Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre Presents All Shook Up

For anyone looking for a purely fun show with great music this is it. This show will have you tapping your feet, clapping your hands and singing along. All Shook Up is a 2004 jukebox musical set to the music of Elvis Presley. The story in this production is similar to Footloose. We have a small town with rules against loud music, public "neckin" etc.. We have an outsider who comes to town and try to change everything, and of course we have the hilarious multi-person love triangle, although it's definitely more than a triangle.

I always tell people I was born in the wrong decade. Even though I grew up in the 80's and love that music, my favorite will always be 50's and 60's rock n roll.

We kick things off with one of the most well know Elvis songs, Jailhouse Rock. During this song we first meet Chad, portrayed by Chris Taylor. Chris was a great choice for this role and you could see him channeling his inner Fonzie and James Dean. Chris has some great shining moments and some of my favorites are "C'mon Everybody", "Don't Be Cruel", "One Night With You" and "Teddy Bear".

The very talented Josie Gompf portrays Natalie. Josie shines as usual showing off her great acting, singing and dancing abilities. Some of my favorite moments we on "Follow That Dream", "Love Me Tender", "One Night With You" and "Blue Suede Shoes" which also featured the big tap number of the show. Big shout out to choreographer Patrick Kasper on his work for this production.

Probably my favorite character of this show was Dennis, played brilliantly by Coleman Klimek. Coleman had some of the funniest moments of the show. His comedic timing and stage presence were second to none. He also had a wonderful performance on "It Hurts Me".

If you have ready any of my past reviews you know I am a huge fan of Clayton Perala. Clayton portrayed Jim, Natalie's dad, perfectly. Clayton is another one with great comedic timing and got to use it many times. His first few scenes with Miss Sandra were hilarious. Clayton didn't have any full solo songs but we get to hear some great vocals from him on "One Night With You", "The Power of my Love" and "C'mon Everybody" just to name a few.

It's great to see familiar faces on stage mixed in with the newer artists. One of those familiar ones is Shelby Cochran who plays Sylvia. We hear some great vocals from her on "Heartbreak Hotel", "There's Always Me" and "One Night With You". Shelby has some great scenes with Clayton. I have been a big fan of hers ever since the FMCT production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 2018 and I can't wait to see her on stage again.

Grace Magstadt as Miss Sandra was another great casting choice. I mentioned her scenes with Clayton, she also had some real good ones with Dennis (Coleman) and Ed/Natalie (Josie). Of course her vocals on "One Night With You" and "Let Yourself Go" were wonderful.

Lorraine and Dean portrayed by Miranda Pederson and Tony Peterson were so good. Out of all of the back and forth between couples and who was falling in love with who, these two were love at first sight. They had some wonderful scenes together and I really enjoyed them on "It's Now or Never" and "That's All Right".

Mayor Matilda and Sheriff Earl were two more fun characters portrayed by Kjerstine Trooien and Jim Luchsinger. Kjerstine played the rule making mayor so well and Jim was her enforcer and man of very few words, but once he decided to talk boy did he. Kjerstine was great on "Devil in Disguise" and we finally get to hear Earl sing on "Can't Help Falling In Love: Reprise".

Although the ensemble cast was small, they all did a great job and really made the show feel much bigger than it was. Between the dancing and the vocals they all should be very proud.

Congrats to director Lori Koenig, Music Director Billy Kidd, Technical Director and Choreographer Patrick Kasper and anyone else involved in this show.

**Photo Credits to Perry Rust

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