The best way to describe this show, beyond its obvious purpose as a vehicle for Elvis standards, is to imagine if Footloose had the ambition to be intelligent. Granted, the show never succeeds in that ambition, but I will acknowledge that it still tries harder than the average Jukebox Musical of its day. The show is nominally based on Shakespeare’s Twelth Night (the fifth musical to date to be so based), complete with a subplot about a female crossdresser, but the Footloose analogy is much more illustrative. Like Footloose, it deals with a charismatic outsider coming upon a staid, moralistic town inhibited by unjust (and unrealistic) laws, and serving as an agent of change while falling in love with a misunderstood young girl who dreams of something more. But in this version, that cliched framework is used as a venue to treat such weighty issues as interracial romance and same-sex attraction. Given Elvis’ place in cultural history, this isn’t a completely unheard-of approach, but the show is ultimately too intent on stuffing in as many musical numbers as possible (26 in all) to provide any substantial analysis of these themes, and the cue-in lines are often painfully heavy-handed, even deliberately so. Leading man Cheyenne Jackson thankfully forgoes the Elvis-impersonator route, giving a performance seemingly more influenced by Marlon Brando. But while he and the rest of the cast are not without talent, they perform the songs in a slick style that drains all the crucial sexuality and danger out of Elvis’ music, which kind of takes the bite out of the show’s attempt to play up the Elvis character’s status as a radical agent of cultural change. This show was just intelligent and respectable enough to not become infamous as a rock-bottom disaster like the unrecorded Good Vibrations, but not interesting or worthwhile enough to actually succeed. It was basically another in a long line of formulaic Jukebox Musicals, but the fact that most of them got exactly the dismissive reception they deserved shows that Broadway audiences are smarter than the theater snobs give them credit for.