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Faith Lutheran students to perform Elvis-themed musical

"All Shook Up" is based on William Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night," but Elvis Presley is the star of this musical. It features more than 20 of Presley’s greatest hits, including "Jailhouse Rock," "It’s Now or Never" and "Can’t Help Falling In Love."

The Faith Lutheran Theatre Company has performances scheduled for 7 p.m. May 4, 5, 11 and 12, and 4 p.m. May 6 and 13 at Faith Lutheran Jr/Sr High School, 2015 S. Hualapai Way.

Presley purists beware, though.

"The orchestration of the Elvis songs have been modified for musical theater," explained director Erik Ball, who also is the head of theatrical arts at Faith Lutheran. "It’s a way to showcase Elvis in a light that is familiar but also extraordinarily approachable to the musical theater way of doing things."

Freshman Brooke Solan plays the female lead, Natalie, a car mechanic in a small town who is searching for love. Although a fan of Presley’s original music, she likes the new versions better.

"Everyone is going to know a song or two," she said. "When they see it done the way it is, they’re going to like it 10 times more."

Brooke’s toughest challenge, she said, is playing Natalie disguised as a man, as she lowers her voice and walks differently in order to get closer to the male lead, Chad.

She said she based her performance on actress Amanda Bynes’ character in "She’s the Man," a 2006 movie also based on "Twelfth Night."

Her counterpart, Chad, is played by junior Jordan Mazzocato, who was groomed from a young age to play this role.

"My grandma, who was from Italy, was absolutely in love with Elvis," Mazzocato said. "He was like God to them.

"When I was a kid, she would stand in the living room with me and take the vacuum cleaner and we would lip sync to Elvis music," he said. "I loved it. It’s a big, big part of my childhood."

Besides having the opportunity to sing the King, Mazzocato said he was attracted to playing a character so different from himself.

"It’s not every day you get to be the tough, burly, roustabout type that comes in and changes everybody’s lives," he said. "… To be the cool guy is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It’s hard to because you’re in this atmosphere of peers, and you’re told, ‘Don’t be this’ and ‘Don’t be that,’ and that’s everything (Chad) is. He is this big-headed, arrogant guy who is all about him, all the time. It’s hard to break out of being nice and being kind."

The company’s previous two high school musicals were "Hairspray" and "Beauty and the Beast," and both are far more recognizable than "All Shook Up," which debuted on Broadway in 2005.

Ball, who performed in Signature Production’s "All Shook Up" two years ago at the Summerlin Library and Performing Arts Center, said he hopes people give this lesser-known musical a chance.

"I found it to be one of the most exciting, fun musicals I’ve ever done," Ball said. "It’s been on my to-do list for a long time. … I think the music Elvis made transcends time and generations. Who doesn’t know these classics?"

The show runs about 2 hours and 10 minutes. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students not attending Faith Lutheran and $5 for Faith Lutheran students, alumni and children 5 or younger. Tickets purchased at the door are $2 more.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at faiththeatrecompany.com.

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at jmosier@viewnews.com or 224-5524.

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