Interpretations of the Bard

Will you take your Shakespeare straight-up or with a twist?

What Would the Bard Think?

Folks at The New Candlelight Theatre are having some fun with “All Shook Up,” which runs through June 19. The show is loosely, loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”  The music is all Elvis.

The vision of Candlelight director Chris Alberts and choreographer Dann Dunn was to create a high-energy show punctuated by mega hits such as “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Jailhouse Rock.” That they did.

But how is this show based on Shakespeare’s play? As mentioned earlier: loosely.

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“Twelfth Night” is a comedy about mistaken identity. So is “All Shook Up.” The similarities get a bit iffy from there, although people in love get a little wacky, whether they’re wearing tights or leather.

In “Twelfth Night,” twin brother and sister Sebastian and Viola believe that the other has died at sea. Viola disguises herself as a boy, assuming the name of Cesario. She gets a job as a page for Orsino, the duke of Illyria, with whom she is in love. Orsino is in love with countess Olivia, who has no interest in Orsino. The plot thickens, of course, but music is integral to the play. There is very little gyrating, if any, but dance plays a role.
Gyrating is required in the Candlelight’s version. Here, Chad, the singing biker dude who resembles Elvis (played by Rick Fountas) falls for the wealthy and tall Miss Sandra (Kaylan Wetzel). Despite her enviable height, Sandra has a rival: a woman disguised as, you guessed it, a male mechanic (Sara Schmuckler). Sandra gets to sing one of Elvis’ best songs, “Fools Fall in Love.”

Both  “Twelfth Night” and “All Shook Up” were meant to be convoluted yet fun. We know Shakespeare intended his play to be so. We’ll never know how he would have felt about “All Shook Up.”  But given his brilliant and respected sense of humor, even the Bard may have chuckled.

Contact info:, or 475-2313.

Page 2: Get Serious, Wilmington Drama League

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Get Serious, Wilmington Drama League

This is the final weekend for Wilmington Drama League’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This production directed by Ann Bartley and  Jeff Robleto is Shakespeare’s comedy depicting the adventures of four young lovers named Lysander and Hermia (played by Gary Lime and Abigail Adams), and Demetrius and Helena (Timothy Sheridan and Dawn Sheppard). Confusing the delicate balance of the love affairs are a group of amateur actors and several fairies.

The play offers three interlocking plots connected by a celebration of an aristocratic wedding. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is considered one of Shakespeare’s most popular and most performed plays.

The production represents another ambitious undertaking from the Wilmington Drama League. This season the troupe has also taken on such classics as “Death of a Salesman” and “Fences,” and offered the Delaware premier of “Rent.”

Contact info:, or 764-1172


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