Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Elvis Presley musical banned in Utah for being 'sexually explicit'

A Utah school district has banned a high school from performing 'All Shook Up,' an Elvis Presley musical. In 2013, Elvis Presley returns to the list of music deemed worthy of parental censorship.

By / January 3, 2013

Elvis Presley sings in a scene from the 1962 movie, 'Kid Galahad.' A parent in a Salt Lake City suburb, who was upset about Elvis Presley songs in a high-school drama 'All Shook Up,' prompted educators to cancel the production.



[UPDATED Jan. 4, 2012: The show will go on! See latest here.]

Skip to next paragraph

One parent was "All Shook Up" and once again Elvis Presley's music has been banned.

A Utah school district on Wednesday canceled the upcoming performance of the Herriman High School musical "All Shook Up."

"What was communicated to us, they were upset with sexually explicit language and some other aspects of the play," Sandy Riesgraf, Jordan district spokeswoman, told The Salt Lake Tribune.  "What they deemed cross-dressing."

Herriman High parent Jill Fishback said she found nothing offensive about "All Shook Up."

"I’m at a loss," Fishback told the Tribune. "They’re singing Elvis songs. A girl dresses up as a boy and kisses a boy. ... It’s not promoting homosexuality. It was supposed to be a farce."

While the play had been approved and rehearsals began in September, a parent complained during the Christmas break that the play was not in compliance with the newly revised drama production guidelines established by the Jordan school board in August. Last year, the school district received complaints about the content of a Bingham (Utah) High School production of "Dead Man Walking" from the Utah Eagle Forum, a conservative lobbying group. The school board responded by adding more parental oversight to the process of selecting plays.

"The number of parent positions on drama production committees was increased to four at the school level and five at the district level, district spokeswoman Sandra Riesgraf said. Students must also have signed parental permission slips to participate, and drama teachers must submit a form to the district two months before a performance for plays that are not on a district-approved list," according to the Deseret News.

The 2005 Broadway musical, "All Shook Up," featuring Elvis Presley music, is loosely based on William Shakespeare's 1602 play "Twelfth Night."

The musical was performed at the nearby Orem, Utah, SERA Center in July. Here's the description of the production from the SCERA Center website: "The story is all new. The music is all Elvis. In a small Midwest town in the 1950s, Natalie dreams of riding off on her motorbike to find the man of her dreams. Inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, this jukebox musical comedy has a leather-jacketed, guitar-playing roustabout who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling, lip-curling fantasy that’ll have you jumpin’ out of your blue suede shoes with a string of Elvis classics including ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ ‘Don’t Be Cruel,’ and ‘Love Me Tender.’ "


  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!