Courtesy of Kathleen Ott
Students can catch a performance of a classic with a twist while giving to a good cause over the next two weekends.
Off The Lake Productions is set to perform “All Shook Up” five times over two weekends in Hitchcock Hall for the admission price of a canned good that will be donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
“I think it’s really great that we can do something we love but also help a great cause,” said Kathleen Ott, a second-year in psychology and publicity coordinator for Off The Lake.
“All Shook Up” is a musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” that uses Elvis Presley’s music to move the plot along.
“Twelfth Night” follows Viola and Sebastian, twin siblings who assume the other has died after becoming shipwrecked. Struggling in new territory after the wreck, Viola passes herself off as a man and soon falls in love with the local duke.
Ensemble crewmember Travis Bihn, a first-year in psychology and theater, and stage manager Cara Corcoran, a third-year in criminology, think the upbeat musical performances will keep audience members engaged.
“You laugh, you cry, you feel awkward at times, and you just have to laugh it off, but what’s really great (is the) high energy, big dance numbers, big songs, and a plot that’s easily relatable, because I think we’ve all loved someone that really hasn’t loved us in return,” Bihn said. “It’s one of those shows where everything just goes wrong and at the end, somehow everything comes together.”
Corcoran added, “I think (the audience can) expect a happy, upbeat, rockabilly musical, and it’s easier to understand because it’s Elvis songs, and everyone loves Elvis songs.”
The cast and crew faced challenges while preparing for the production of the gender-switching play.
Danielle Richman, a second-year in biology, plays both the lead female and male in the play as Natalie Haller and Ed, Natalie’s male alter ego.
“It’s a challenge, but I think I’ve finally got it. I worked a lot with the directors on it,” Richman said.
Richman agrees with her cast mates as far as the pacing of the play.
“It’s really fun and energetic, and the music is really great,” she said. “It’s an over-the-top love story (where) everyone falls in love. It’s just fun. You won’t want to look away.”
Brandon Gano, the show’s choreographer and a third-year in biology, said he likes to challenge the cast with more technical dances that showcase his background in dance, which is also his minor.
“I’m always up for a challenge, and I love doing it, and it’s awesome to see that payoff,” Gano said. “I make my dances challenging for a reason, because I know that they have potential inside of them that they may not have realized previously, so they always step up to that. And I want to make sure I give them that challenge so they can rise to the occasion.”
Bihn agrees it is challenging but likes the opportunity it gives him to break out.
“Throughout the process, we had to learn an extensive amount of singing and dancing, as well as acting on stage, too, so combining those three aspects enhances the performance and makes it really challenging,” he said.
Gano also likes that Off The Lake members come from a wide variety of majors.
“We come together … because we all love musical theater, so it’s really cool to get all of those different backgrounds together under one umbrella group,” he said.
Richman enjoys other aspects of being a member of Off The Lake.
“I like musicals, and I love to sing, and there’s a lot of other volunteering, service (projects) we do together to get better acquainted with each other that are fun,” she said.
“All Shook Up” opens Friday at 8 p.m. in room 131 in Hitchcock Hall. Other performances include Saturday at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and April 12 and 13 at 8 p.m.