More than 50 years after Elvis Presley’s swiveling hips and rock ’n’ roll music shook up the Greatest Generation while captivating their teenage children, word coming out of Utah indicates The King might still be shocking to some as a high school production based on his music is canceled for being too racy.
For months, students of Herriman High in Herriman, Utah, had been preparing a production of the Broadway musical “All Shook Up” that is based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and contains several of Elvis’ songs.
But that’s all in the past. A community member filed a complaint about the production right before the school started its winter break, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. By the time students returned to school after the holidays, the production had already been nixed from the schedule.
“[Administrators] read the play, and there were some aspects of the play that could be offensive to some under our new revised policy,” Jordan School Board district spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf told the newspaper. “We want our drama to be a great experience not just for our students but the theater-goers. We don’t want to offend anyone.”
The “new revised policy” Riesgraf mentioned came to be after conservative group Utah Eagle Forum complained about Birmingham High’s production of “Dead Man Walking,” saying the play contained racial slurs, profanity, sexual language, political bias and “inappropriate use of biblical teachings.”
How did “All Shook Up” shake up the protectors of morality in Herriman? Riesgraf said folks “were upset with sexually explicit language and some other aspects of the play. What they deemed cross-dressing.”
But parent Jill Fishback is one person who doesn’t think the play was too risqué for the sensitive teens of Herriman. As to the cross-dressing, Fishback told the paper, “A girl dresses up as a boy and kisses a boy. … It’s not promoting homosexuality. It was supposed to be a farce.”