Herriman High shaken up but not out
Work on the Herriman High musical, “All Shook Up,” began in earnest in November with auditions. But it all seemed to come to a screeching halt in January when a parent complained about the content of the show to district officials.
“I was never told specifically what the complaint was,” Kaycee Bradshaw, Herriman High theatre teacher, said.
Jordan School District spokesperson Steven Dunham said that a parent was concerned about the lyrics in one song and some of the dialogue, finding them inappropriate.
District officials examined the script.
“We agreed there were things that we needed to adjust. There were minor changes that needed to be made here and there,” Dunham said.
Jordan School District will not disclose the name of the parent who lodged the complaint.
But word came from Jordan School District officials that Herriman’s show was canceled. News spread quickly, reaching national and international audiences.
One hundred students comprise the cast, stage crew and orchestra.
“They were so crushed when they thought they couldn’t perform,” Bradshaw said.
News of Herriman High School’s plight reached the licensing company, Theatrical Rights Worldwide, in New York City which owns the performance rights to “All Shook Up,” when Jordan School District called to inquire about a refund of performance fees.
“Rather than cancel the show, the licensing company said they would prefer to make it work for us,” Dunham said. Theatrical Rights Worldwide granted permission for the school to revise one of the songs and a few words of dialogue that may have caused the complaint.
By the next day, the district announced that they had reversed their decision. The show was back on again.
“All Shook Up” is a modern version of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” performed as a musical with Elvis Presley songs. It has been performed at other high schools in Salt Lake, Weber, Davis and Tooele counties without complaint.
Set in 1955, the story revolves around a mysterious stranger arriving in a small Midwestern town. Mistaken identity and romance are thrown in for good measure.
“All Shook Up” features such famous songs as “Love Me Tender,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”
“We will make it be the best show ever. That’s the plan,” Bradshaw said.
Performances are Feb. 27, 28, March 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. in the Herriman High School auditorium at 11917 South 6000 West. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for HHS students and seniors.
“We hope everyone will come. Some will come out of support and some out of curiosity or even a few to nitpick. On the bright side, we get to do our show,” Bradshaw said.
“All Shook Up” will feature the talents of Zachary Garside as Chad, Sarah Keuhl as Natalie Haller/Ed, Spencer Jones as Jim Haller, Sydney Adams as Sylvia and Christopher Neve as Dennis.
Two students serve as assistant directors: Brianna DeMille and Zachary Dansie. Working as the stage manager is Kirsten Carter, and assistant stage manager is Colton Babcock.