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The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

“All Shook Up” rocks audience off its feet; one of Buena’s “best musicals” yet

Sevilla Photography
Freshman Lily Beck (left) and senior Adam Karluk (right) rock out to some Elvis tunes after the mayor, played by Beck, let loose on the town’s strict rules and played to her hearts desire.

Lights dim and the audience quiets as they wait for “All Shook Up” to begin, an Elvis Presley jukebox and Buena’s spring musical wrapped up into one sweet-sounding night. As the curtain opened, audience members were dazzled by seeing a small town frozen in time, a jukebox waiting to be brought to life, and the cast getting ready to sing their hearts out about the struggle of love.  

Drama director Karen Rodrigues, affectionately known as “KRod”, was thrilled to host “All Shook Up”, after an attempt a few years prior.

“We tried to do [All Shook Up] in 2020 and we were shut down,” Rodrigues said. “So the fact that we already had [choreography and blocking] made it so much easier, and the cast and crew were on top of their game, and so excited.”

As Rodrigues directed her final musical before retirement, she put all of her focus into creating a positive environment for the cast and crew to grow in their talents. 

The “All Shook Up” cast opens with a spirited and entertaining dance number to “Jailhouse Rock”. This high energy number had audience members on their feet, swaying with the sweet-sounding notes. (Sevilla Photography)

“Watching something grow from the page to the stage, and watching students own their characters and find their purpose is the best part of this job,” Rodrigues said. “There is a lot of anxiety and stage fright backstage, but it is really just excitement. It’s a matter of redirecting the way you think about things.” 

The curtains drew back to reveal the Elvis-inspired Chad, played by senior Adam Karluk, dancing with jail mates in their cell. The well-known “Jailhouse Rock” song by Presley opened the musical as Karluk revealed his character had been in jail.

“From the beginning to the end of act one Chad was just one way, and I had to arc myself into this transition where Chad had gotten every girl he had ever wanted and [suddenly] this girl he really likes doesn’t want him,” Karluk said. 

With the support of his cast and crew, Karluk was able to navigate through the complicated character that is Chad. 

“When I performed the song ‘I don’t want to’ it would get me into a hard spot, because I felt like it was actually happening, I would start crying, and I would cry more as the scene went on,” Karluk said. “I will never forget the night when my assistant director hugged me and told me ‘You have grown so much’.”

Natalie is the town’s mechanic who fell for Chad at first sight. Played by junior Annika Harris, the character development of Natalie was seen throughout the musical as she kept trying to change for Chad to notice her.

Watching something grow from the page to the stage, and watching students own their characters and find their purpose is the best part of this job.”

— Karen Rodrigues

All of the outfit changes and character switches that happened behind the scenes and onstage were a new challenge for Harris, but something super exciting. “I had five quick changes, which was completely different from last year, but it was super fun to try something new,” Harris said. 

Being involved in “All Shook Up” took Harris for a wild ride full of fun memories and life lessons. 

“Working with all of my cast members is so special because it is a safe and encouraging space to learn and grow. I have definitely learned to savor every single moment,” Harris said. 

Chad was madly in love with Ms. Sandra, a red lipstick-wearing, Marilyn Monroe-style museum owner played by sophomore Nairi Nahabedian. Ms. Sandra always walked with her head held high.

Played by sophomore Nairi Nahabedian, Ms. Sandra struts across the stage as she pursues Ed. (Sevilla Photography)

“Being able to dress up and perform is such a fun feeling,” Nahabedian said. “Getting into character with the makeup and costuming has been such a cool experience.” 

The characters go through many emotional ups and downs throughout the story, taking audience members through the crazy rollercoasters of the multiple love triangles. Attention to detail was not overlooked in this production, as stagecraft students like sophomore Julianna Benson put in hard work to make every facet of the set match the 50s theme.

“Being in stagecraft, I had to constantly think creatively and problem solve quickly when obstacles arose,” Benson said. “What I love about stagecraft is how I constantly have to work outside of my comfort zone and think outside of the box.”

The ending of the performance had audience members on their feet, clapping and dancing to the catchy Elvis tunes. As cast members took their final bow, they brought out Rodrigues to take her final bow as Buena’s drama director.

“KRod is an amazing director, she brings such a motherly vibe. I have learned so much from her and I am going to miss her so much,” Nahabedian said. “She’s the greatest teacher of all…what she’s taught [us] is it’s okay to not be okay and to fail, because you have to fail to learn.”

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About the Contributors
Naima Dickerson
Naima Dickerson, News Section Editor
Naima Dickerson is a sophomore at BHS and is in her first year at Buena Speaks. When she is not cheering or planning an event for ASB, she likes to get Starbucks with friends, make playlists, and practice driving.
Avery Buehner
Avery Buehner, Staff Writer
Avery is a sophomore and this in her first year at Buena Speaks. When she is not writing poetry or articles while listening to Billy Joel, she is in the pool playing water polo. She has played for 8 years, competed nationally and internationally, and continues to play on the high school team.

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    Lota RuffinJun 5, 2024 at 12:08 pm

    The show was SO well done with immense talent brought out by KRod.
    What an awesome way for her to retire. You will be missed by Buena.