Elvis Musical Heading To Broadway

Always eager to keep Elvis Presley working, managers of his estate have set their sights on Broadway. "All Shook Up," a musical commissioned by the Presley estate and featuring a string of his hit son

Always eager to keep Elvis Presley working, managers of his estate have set their sights on Broadway. "All Shook Up," a musical commissioned by the Presley estate and featuring a string of his hit songs, is scheduled to open on Broadway in spring 2005. It will first play Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theater from May 13-June 6 in Chester, Conn.

The plot of the musical concerns what happens in a loveless town when a magical jukebox and a lady-loving, leather-clad stranger arrive, producer Jonathan Pollard said. It takes place in the mid-1950s in roughly "Anywhere USA."

"We are going to Goodspeed Chester to get a sense of what we have," he said. "It's the first step in the development [of the show]." The musical will then move to a larger city that has not yet been decided, before heading to Broadway.

"All Shook Up" is not about Presley, who died in 1977 at his Memphis mansion, Graceland. No actor plays him in the show, but the production will include 20 of his songs, such as "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender" and "Burning Love."

Jack Soden, chief executive of Elvis Presley Enterprises, said he and his staff came up with the Broadway idea about two years ago, in the wake of the success of "Mamma Mia!" -- a production featuring the music of ABBA. "If your full-time job is Elvis, we kind of do think tanks. We sit around and we look at the world, and what are the opportunities for us," Soden said.

Joe DiPietro, author of the musical "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," was hired to write the play and came up with the story. But the estate didn't want a Presley biography. "It probably wouldn't succeed because it would be dismissed as a highly produced Elvis impersonator show," Soden said.

Pollard has lined up several backers for the show, including Clear Channel Entertainment and Miramax Films.


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