Utah Town All Shook Up by Elvis Presley High School Play

Thursday, 03 Jan 2013 11:41 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A Utah high school has been banned from putting on a musical about Elvis Presley because officials consider it too racy and offensive.

The Jordan School Board cancelled Herriman High School's production of "All Shook Up" for what it considered controversial scenes including a boy and girl kissing and a girl dressing up as a boy.

"[Administrators] read the play, and there were some aspects of play that could be offensive … We don’t want to offend anyone," district spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf told the Salt Lake Tribune. "What was communicated to us, they were upset with sexually explicit language and some other aspects of the play. What they deemed cross-dressing."

"All Shook Up"’ — a jukebox musical featuring Presley's top hits and loosely based on Shakespeare’s 1602 play "Twelfth Night" — has been performed at high schools all over the country without any outcry.

The show, with songs like "Jailhouse Rock" and "Don't Be Cruel," debuted on Broadway in 2005 and was a hit with theatergoers of all ages.

Parents and students at Herriman are incensed that what they consider a benign, family-friendly production — which had been in rehearsals for months and was set to debut next month — has been shut down.

"I'm at a loss. They're singing Elvis songs. A girl dresses up as a boy and kisses a boy," one parent Jill Fishback told the Tribune. "It's not promoting homosexuality. It was supposed to be a farce."

The school district said that even a watered-down, less-controversial version of "All Shook Up" couldn't have been performed because copyright laws do not allow the show to be altered.

Students are now racing to get a new, G-rated play into production.

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