BWW Review: ALL SHOCK UP at Teater Bristol
All Shock Up is a jukebox musical filled with wonderful Elvis songs and wonderful 50's vibe. The clothes are colorful and the whole ensemble radiates so much energy and love for the musical that you can't help enjoy it with a smile on your lips during the whole musical. A relatively simple story about a small town where Mayor Matilda Hyde (Mindi Lundqvist) has banned dance and publicly making out as it is immoral! No rolling hips here. But the town is turned upside down as the motor bike for the rock guy Chad (Carl Gyllenswaard) breaks down as he passes the town hand has to make a stop. His leather jacket and rebellious attitude gets the attention of all the young girls in town especially Natalie Haller (Linda Lundberg) falls head over heels in love with him. But for Chad she is just that nice girl who has magic fingers to fix motorcycles with. Nathalie has a secret admirer in the skinny Dennis (Erik Gummesson). Chad falls for the curvy and culturally interested Miss Sandra (Olivia Lorenz). If Chad sets the women on fire, Miss Sandra stirs up the emotions of the men in town. The widow Jim Haller (Matte Lagerwall) comes to life when he first sees her, which is not appreciated by bar owner Sylvia (Elin Uvia Salas). She has a good eye for Jim herself for years. She has not kissed a man for 6 years as she has focused on taken care of her bar and daughter Lorraine (Therese Brandels). On day Lorraine bumps into Dean Hyde (Filip Torndal) who is home a few days to greet his mother Matilda Hyde. The mayor has a constant companion Sheriff Earl (Anders Hedlund) who reluctantly ensures that her moral rules are complied with. Yes, as you can understand, there will be a number of developments in the act about who should get who in this love carousel.
I was mostly impressed by the girls in this musical. The female characters are the ones who are strong-willed and are the most interesting and there is a lot of girlpower in this musical. Linda Lundberg's tough and cocky Nathalie made me think of Lauren in Kinky Boots and the wonderful scene when she realizes she is in love with Charlie. Unfortunately, Chad is not as sympathetic as Charlie and Nathalie could get a better guy than that sloppy self-indulgent guy. You can't help but be impressed and amused by Olivia Lorenz as Miss Sandra. Her body language is so good and the scene with her and Natalie at the museum is one of the highlights of the musical. Elin Uvia Salas has a powerful voice and her Sylvia radiates warmth and thoughtfulness.
The dialog is in Swedish but they kept the song lyrics in English which I think was a wise choice. It is better to recognize the lyric and be able to hum along. I like big dance numbers and in this musical there were several of them with great choreography by Emanuel Bagge in the best 50's vintage style.
This is not a high budget musical as Witches in Eastwick are, but with that in mind, I was really impressed with all the dedication and enthusiasm everyone on and behind the stage showed. A good orchestra led by Johan Mörk, West End Musical Choir and dancers and simple but good scenography. These smaller low budget musicals and plays are needed to enrich Stockholm musical and theater life. Thomas Creutz and everyone involved in this set can feel proud of what they have accomplished and this is a set that so well deserves that it was more or less sold out prior to the opening night the November 14, they even added extra shows which sold out as well. Those who have managed to get hold of tickets will have a pleasant evening, with a lot of laughs and joy.
Press image used with permission of Thomas Creutz.