The opening night of Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll was a memorable and joyous experience for many in the audience at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre.
Listening to audience feedback after the show it seems hearing and seeing the music `those of a certain age’ grew up with presented in a professional, colourful and fun-loving way brought back many memories of their younger days.
At the same time there was also plenty on offer for younger audience members thanks to the everlasting appeal of performers such as Elvis Presley, the continual popularity of musicals such as Grease and the chance to see some of this country’s renowned musical performers and dancers in action.
The show, which this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary, is based on the hit radio show of the same name presented by legendary radio DJ Wolfman Jack.
The re-creation of the number one hit radio program of its time is used to introduce many of the songs presented during the show together with some of the ads of the time for products such as hair gel, cars and cleaning products.
Songs presented include Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock, Teddy Bear, The Wonder Of You and Love Me Tender, Bobby Darin’s Beyond The Sea, Dream Lover and Mac The Knife, The Drifters’ Save The Last Dance, The Four Seasons’ Oh What A Night and Sherry, an Everly Brothers Medley, Sam Cooke’s Twistin’ The Night Away, Johnny O’Keefe’s Shout, She’s My Baby and Sing Sing Sing and Ritchie Valens’ La Bamba.
A talented cast of performers present the songs including Rick Charles and Glenn Craven, who remarkably have been with the show since its inception. Their performance on opening night showed they’ve lost none of their enthusiasm or ability to perform the iconic songs of the 50s and 60s.
Jonathan Guthrie-Jones, who also acted as the show’s MC, showed his impressive vocal and on-stage presence. His rendition of Summer Nights from Grease with J’aime Holland was one of a number of show stopping numbers.
Anthony Petrucci’s presentation of a number of Elvis hits was another crowd pleaser.
While all performers enthusiastically and skillfully interacted with the audience, especially those in the front few rows, Petrucci’s Elvis extended his reach far further back in the auditorium. His distribution of teddy bears while singing the Elvis hit was another highlight.
Supporting the singers were 10 talented dancers, several of whom are Latin ballroom champions and who feature on the television program Dancing with the Stars. All showed their abilities in presenting the full gambit of dance moves. Colourful costumes and clever choreography complemented their performances.
The mixture of plenty of colour and movement and a truly enthusiastic, energetic and talented cast ensures this 30th anniversary presentation of Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll should be as popular as previous incarnations.
For those of a certain era there’s a chance to relive past memories. Younger generations may have a greater understanding of why their parents and grandparents talk of the music they grew up with sp fondly.
Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll is playing at Melbourne Athenaeum’s Theatre until May 14. Other performances are scheduled at the Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide on Saturday June 17, Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, Bunbury on Friday July 7 and the Astor Theatre Perth on Saturday July 8. Visit the website for more details.
*Jenny Burns attended the opening night of Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll as a guest of the producers.
- live show, Melbourne
Subscribe My Newsletter
Unsubscribe at any time.