The unmistakable sound of the King of Rock is the centerpiece of Whitehall-Yearling High School's stage play, "All Shook Up."

The school's theater department will present the musical at 7 p.m. Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at the Walter Armes Learning Center Auditorium, 675 S. Yearling Road.

Nichole Lohrman-Novak, director of the theater department, said "All Shook Up" borrows elements from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" (forbidden love) and "Twelfth Night" (farce), and even from the film "Footloose," in which dancing is viewed as immoral.

The musical is inspired by and features 24 songs by Elvis Presley, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender," "Don't Be Cruel," "Can't Help Falling in Love" and the title song.

Patrick McGregor II, the play's artistic director, suggested the show to Lohrman-Novak.

"We considered it a really good fit for the talent we have this year," said Lohrman-Novak, who is a first-year theater director at Whitehall-Yearling.

The play centers on Chad, a city boy who arrives in a rural town and whose flair for music and dance is not well-received.

"The mayor doesn't want teenagers dancing or falling in love," Lohrman-Novak said.

A girl in town, Natalie, takes an interest in Chad but uses unusual tactics to draw closer to him.

Cast in the lead role of Chad is junior Zach Franklin, who also attends Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools.

"To me, Chad is a cool, flirtatious, but also a kind of dorky guy," Franklin said.

To get into character, Franklin said he watched "old videos" of Presley to learn how he moved. To mimic his speech patterns, Franklin said he watched episodes of the animated series, "Johnny Bravo."

Two students -- sophomore Hannah Rubin and junior Ivy Raiyne Griffieth -- are cast as Natalie.

Rubin described her character as "a small-town country girl who is just looking for excitement from the outside world."

"She dreams of falling in love," said Rubin, who said she is comfortable in the role.

"I'm like her in the sense that she's a tomboy and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty," Rubin said.

Griffieth describes Natalie as "a tomboy and a mechanic."

"I've put a lot of preparation into my character by watching other performances online and figuring out how I wanted to play my character," she said.

Tickets, available at the door, cost $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens. They can be purchased in advance at tinyurl.com/WYHSallshookup.

For more information, visit the Facebook page, "WYHS Department of Theatre."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo