PCC's 'itching like a man on a fuzzy tree'

2013-02-21T00:00:00Z PCC's 'itching like a man on a fuzzy tree'Johanna Willett For The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Expect some burning love at the Elvis Presley-infused musical "All Shook Up,"now on the Pima Community College stage.

Set in the 1950s, the musical croons the story of a sleepy town where the mayor outlaws loud music. Everything changes when Chad, a roustabout, sweeps through the town, strumming on his guitar.

This 2005 comedy has more than 24 Elvis songs coupled with elements of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." "

"When you think Elvis Presley, you think it will be silly, silly, silly," Todd Poelstra, the director of the musical, said during a phone call earlier this month. "It's really very heartwarming and has very nice values in it. Every once in a while you find yourself caught up in the emotions of it."

Poelstra, along with choreographer Mickey Nugent and music director Nancy Davis Booth, worked with the 32 students on stage to make everyone a triple threat.

"You can't send five guys out there and say, 'Do a double turn,' and throw all this ballet and jazz terminology at them," Nugent said in a telephone interview. "You say, 'OK, guys, I need you to look tough here and rough here, and if you can turn like this, that's really cool.'You put Lady Gaga on to warm up, and they're all going to move. People just love music."

For the first time, a PCC musical will substantially incorporate video into the production, following the lead of the original Broadway production.

"The video doesn't feel unnatural even though it's set in the 1950s," Poelstra said. "It's rock 'n' roll. It's Elvis Presley music sung by different voices. It's very intriguing."

Tonight, Nugent will sit in the back of the theater laughing at all the jokes - as he always does - feeling like "a proud papa" as his students sing and dance across the stage.

"This whole rock 'n' roll thing just makes you want to twirl your hips and move your knees," Nugent said. "I want the audience to be tapping their feet and humming and dancing right out the door."

if you go

• What: Pima Community College Performing Arts production of "All Shook Up."

• Playwright: Joe DiPietro.

• Director: Todd Poelstra.

• When: 7:30 p.m. today, Friday, Saturday, Wednesday, next Thursday, March 1 and 2, and 2 p.m Sunday and March 3.

• Where: The PCC Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre on the West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road.

• Cost: $18. Discounts available.

• Reservations, information: 206-6986 or pima.edu/cfa

• Running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission.

Johanna Willett is a University of Arizona journalism student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact her at starapprentice@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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