The Moonlight Amphitheater Gets All Shook Up

allshookup“All Shook Up” is a fun romp of a musical featuring the music of Elvis Presley. Set in a fictional mid-western community, ASU tells the story of roving roustabout Chad (played by Michael James Byrne) as he meets various characters and how his interactions bring about change in a small town setting.

What’s engaging about All Shook Up is the range of themes that Presley’s music lends itself to the story. Elvis music is rock and roll classic, but in musical form it’s catchy and invigorating. The energy from the stage is high throughout. From Jailhouse Rock to Heartbreak Hotel to Fools Rush In, the actors are able to embody theses songs and express their skills effectively on stage.


Director-choreographer Charlie Williams does an excellent job of weaving together extravagant singing, dance routines, acting, and music that takes the audience on this 1950’s journey but feels quite relevant today. The story showcases the townspeople enslaved to the monotony of mundane life, but the opportunity to take risks and make a change is thematic on stage. The musical doesn’t take itself too seriously as it’s mostly lighthearted and fun. But at the same token, the production’s theme of pursuing one’s endeavors and not letting anything get in the way is prevalent.


The beautiful costumes and set design helps to tell the story and the choreography is seamless. Great detail helps the audience to envision that small town vibe. What’s interesting is the character of Natalie, whose job as a mechanic, would have been uncalled for in the 1950’s. Katherine McDonaugh’s take on Natalie is superb and easily resonates with the audience as she also plays Ed. There’s a love triangle, a love quadruple, and possibly a love quintuple. But that’s beside the point. The ensemble exudes charm and talent filling the stage with exuberance. The ambiance of the Moonlight Theater provides open air and freedom allowing the viewer to fully immerse himself into the musical, savoring the joyful experience. There is no better way to indulge in live musical theater than under the stars on a cool summer night in Vista, Caifornia.


Also, spoiler alert: there’s a greyhound bus chased by a bicycle.

A. Michael Cruz is an avid popular culture and tech enthusiast, runner, educator, curriculum author, and seat tweeter. Follow him at @mikeycruz

More From Matters of Grey

DIY Star Wars Snowflakes

With winter upon us, we thought it would be fun to share a fun project of ours with you: snowflake designs with a Star Wars twist. We created the original set of designs in 2010 and now have the largest collection of designs and templates on the internet. With The Force Awakens opening in December,... Read More

9 Instagram-Worthy Outside Comic-Con Events

So you’re couldn’t get a Comic-Con badge and fear your Instagram account is just not going to be as cool as everyone else’s? Fear not! If you’re in San Diego the week of this Hollyweird extravaganza, there are still plenty of spots where no badge is required! From mouthless cats to the undead, I’ve got... Read More

How to Set Up Your Business on Foursquare

With the surge of Foursquare users over the past year many of them are looking for venue specials to sway their decision to visit new places. Businesses have much to gain with this free marketing tool. Being able to offer promotions to lure clients in this way is really becoming a game changer. We worked... Read More

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.