In 1954, Elvis Presley started a rock and roll revolution with his legendary music and dance moves, quickly earning the title, “The King of Rock and Roll.” Forty years later, Presley’s songs live on as the basis of the hot new Broadway musical, All Shook Up, which opens March 24. Works such as “Devil in Disguise,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “Burning Love,” help tell the tale of a mysterious stranger named Chad, who arrives in a small town where dancing is prohibited. Chad embodies Elvis’s rebellious spirit as he challenges the town’s dance ban.
Under the guidance of choreographer Ken Roberson, who choreographed Broadway’s Avenue Q and was the assistant choreographer for Jelly’s Last Jam, 30 cast members get all shook up as they dance their way through the plot. As the music builds, so does the dancing. In fact, the dancers had to report to rehearsals one week earlier than the rest of the cast in order to perfect the 1950s groove steps.
According to cast member Michael James Scott, who is making his Broadway debut, the choreography always appears to be fun and energetic, but is also highly technical. The moves are generally “low to the ground—in plié most of the time—a very masculine style of dance,” Scott explains. “The dancing shifts from a simple ‘step-touch,’ at the beginning, to exuberance at the end.”