The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

On the Stage: Elvis and the Rock n’ Roll Era Shake Up DVC

DVC Drama Dept.

Get those legs shaking and break out your blue suede shoes because the “King of Rock n’ Roll” is coming to Diablo Valley College this week with the opening of DVC Drama’s musical production All Shook Up.

The jukebox musical, which begins Friday, Oct. 20, and runs through Nov. 5, features over 25 of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits. The songs are played by a live band and woven into the story of a small 1950s midwestern town during the Civil Rights movement. 

“It’s going to be a really fun night in the theater with a lot of great music that everybody knows,” said DVC drama professor and director Lisa Drummond.

More importantly, she added, the performance deals with substantive issues of the day like racism and segregation.

“I like putting on shows that have a message but deliver them in a cotton candy shell,” Drummond said, “where we get to have a really good time and when it’s over it’s like, ‘that was a great story.’ That’s what All Shook Up is about.” 

Between the show’s live music, physically demanding choreography and huge stage set, it may be one of the largest undertakings by the department ever. 

“We do big musicals here and this is probably one of our biggest,” said Drummond, praising the musical’s cast and crew who learned their characters, songs and scenes — as well as built the set — in just seven weeks. 

“I am so lucky I get to work with such an amazing group of young, talented artists who are super passionate about their work here.” 

It’s that passion that drove DVC student and lead actor Alec Barnett to put his all into every rehearsal. Barnett said he pushed himself so hard, he even had to buy a vocal steamer to soothe his throat and preserve his voice for the show.

“If you want to be a talented performer, you really have to take care of yourself and it has to be an essential part of your routine,” said Barnett.

Barnett plays Chad, a young ruffian who rolls in with his guitar and motorcycle and “shakes up” the midwestern town, showing townspeople how to embrace the power of love through rock and roll.

“Chad is a wonderful character to play but he takes a lot of energy because he’s a very high-energy guy,” said Barnett, “so I had to take care of myself very well to make sure that I’m giving 200 percent every time we rehearse.”

Barnett agreed that the production’s cast and crew came together in a special way for the performance, and said he hopes audiences recognize the effort. 

“I think that’s a big part of it, showing people just how hard we’ve all worked. There’s so many people that have put so much work into this, so I’m excited to show that,” Barnett said.

The show will have evening performances each Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. for the next three weeks, with matinee shows on Sundays at 2:30. Tickets can be bought online for $24, and students get a $10 discount.

After All Shook Up, Drummond said audiences can expect a blockbuster rest of the 2023-2024 season, with three more productions scheduled between this semester and next.

From Nov. 17 to Dec. 2, DVC Drama will put on the student-directed show, Radium Girls, based on the true story of a group of young women who become irradiated while working in a watch factory.

The program continues in the spring with a comedy, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, about two characters taken from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. The story focuses on the comedic offstage journey the two men take in the original play.

The department’s last show of the year will remain a secret for a little while longer, Drummond said, and it’s one people will definitely want to see.

“It’s a play that was recently on Broadway and [DVC] will be one of the first non-professional theater companies to get the rights” to it, hence the secrecy, she said. 

As for this week’s performance, Barnett said he’s ready to rock and roll. 

“I’m very excited for the opening number,” Barnett said. “I think it’ll really captivate people and reel them in.”

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About the Contributor
Brandon Nelson, Editor in chief

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  • M

    Ms. Susan Trishel MonsonOct 21, 2023 at 3:29 pm

    Bravo all 🎉👏👏👏

  • B

    BrydenOct 17, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    I’m so excited to see this show and I can’t wait to see the incredibly talented actors take the stage. There’s something truly special about the experience of seeing a musical, and I look forward to the thrill of the opening notes and the awe-inspiring performances that lie ahead.