Fort Gibson Middle School student Easton Wicks says people in his family "used to love Elvis back in the day."
"Some of the songs are old fashioned. They've been singing them over the years," he said.
Easton is getting to know and appreciate Elvis Presley's music and swagger in the Muskogee Little Theatre's Summer Youth Theatre production of "All Shook Up." The production, which features Presley's music, runs Thursday through Sunday at MLT.
Easton said he probably knew one or two Elvis tunes before he started rehearsing.
"They're all pretty catchy. It's easy to get to know them, he said, adding that his favorite song is "Jailhouse Rock," which opens the show.
Easton plays Chad, a roustabout who goes to different towns "trying to spread positivity."
He visits one town and actually finds love, Easton said.
"It's just been a great experience," he said. "The counselors, the director, choreographer, the music director. They're all fun to be around. They always make it a positive experience.
Sadler Arts Academy seventh-grader Elizabeth Van Voast plays Natalie, a tomboy who seeks to be Chad's love interest.
"She falls in love with Chad, a roustabout who comes into this town," Elizabeth said. "The entire show, I'm trying to get his attention doing different things like dressing nice. At one point of the show, I pretend to be a boy named Ed, and I become his best buddy."
She said the Presley songs have been fashioned to match the musical.
"They're changed a tiny bit, but they're still the same song," she said, adding that her favorite is "I Can't Help Falling In Love."
Mason Davis, a Hilldale sophomore, plays Dennis, a nerd in love with Natalie.
He said the Elvis music is different.
"At first, I didn't really like it, but the more it's been coming to me, I began to feel it and like it," he said.
Camp Director Penny McGill said 53 students attended the camp this year, and each has a part in the play as an actor or ensemble member. She said the young performers have been awesome.
"We have some new leads who have never led a show before," McGill said. "They're enjoying the music."
She said youngsters are enjoying a play that's "light and a little silly."
Musical director Connor Lynch attended the theater camp through the years. He's in his third year directing a youth theater show.
"It never gets old. I love it every single time," he said, adding that the hard work has paid off in the end.
If you go
WHO: Muskogee Little Theatre Summer Youth Theatre Camp.
WHAT: "All Shook Up."
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
WHERE: Muskogee Little Theatre, 311 S. Third St.
ADMISSION: $15 for adults; $12 for students. Tickets available online at https://www.muskogeelittletheatre.com/
Natalie Haller/Ed: Elizabeth Van Voast.
Chad: Easton Wicks.
Sylvia: Addison Smith.
Lorraine: Rebekah Orcutt.
Dennis: Mason Davis.
Sandra: Bella Cobler.
Mayor Matilda Hyde: Kaebryn Payne.
Dean Hyde: Jaxon Skaggs.
Sheriff Earl: Sebastion Casale.
Warden: Hunter Isom.
Town Lady: Allyson Hobbs.
Town Persons: Embri Watson, Jackson Brazille.
Bus Driver: Zakarya Collins.
Alex: Aubrie Beaty.
ENSEMBLE: Aubree Morris, Daphnee Kizza, Maximilano Casale, Addali Stout, Avery Westbrook, Stella Sheldon, Jade Crall, Olive Kizza, Berkley Boswell, Wila Bell, Aubrey Sherman, Blakely Hawke, Jameson Sheldon, Sallie Hunt, Sadie Hunt, Natalie Stone, Destin Morgan, Tatum Folsome, Killian Stratton, Elleson Glass, Tristan Kendrick, Abby Robison, Weston Morgan, Avery Skaggs, Kyndyl Schmidt, Carrieann Morris, Peyton Peddy, Kinsley Wilson, Moriah Collins Maddy Sowers, Meadow Stevens, Karson Impson, Mollie Werdeman, Gareth McJunkins, Daniel Orcutt, Eden Dennis, Hannah Kennedy, Judah Sheldon.