Shake Rattle ‘N’ Roll (touring) – musical theatre review

The ‘50s and ‘60s continue to resonate as Shake Rattle ‘N’ Roll gives us a cavalcade of song, movement and colour. The fuse is re-lit and burns for more than two hours, thanks to a poised, polished and preened cast of four singers and 10 dancers. The pretence is the re-creation of famous, gravelly voiced American DJ Wolfman Jack’s radio broadcasts. He is frequently pictured in silhouette on the large video screen that forms the show’s backdrop. Full songs and mash ups are the order of the day.

For starters, there is Oh Boy, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On, It’s My Party and C’mon Everybody. Rick Charles, who, alongside Glenn Craven, celebrates his 30th year performing in Shake Rattle ‘N’ Roll (both were there when the show started) channels Buddy Holly. Craven is Johnny O’Keefe incarnate. He and Charles emerge as the Everly Brothers. Anthony Petrucci does Elvis and Jonathan Guthrie-Jones performs Bobby Darin numbers.

Ads from back in the day – think Brylcreem, Mr Clean and a Chevrolet commercial – are mighty fun to listen to and watch. A Razzle Dazzle medley is on the menu in the first act, while Grease is the word after the break. The Jersey Boys are also prominent with Sherry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and Oh, What A Night. Alongside the smooth voiced vocals are muscular, lithe and leggy dancers, who – pardon the pun – hot foot it throughout. The slick choreography is the work of dancer Aric Yegudkin.

Shake Rattle ‘N’ Roll takes a stroll down memory lane – poodle skirts, bobby socks and slick back hair. The costumes, which also include a diverse range of tuxedos, undoubtedly add to the flavour of a most entertaining, ear and eye pleasing production. Shake Rattle ‘N’ Roll is on at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne until 14th May, before heading to Adelaide in June and Western Australia in July.

For more information and to book, go to https://shakerattleandroll.com.au

Alex First

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