Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"All Shook Up," Final Dress Rehearsal, Part 4 of 4, Priscilla Beach Theatre, Priscilla Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

The Broadway musical, "All Shook Up," opened recently for a six performance run at Priscilla Beach Theatre (PBT). They sold out fast so two additional shows were added to try to meet demand.

This is Part 4 of a four part series that covers the final two dress rehearsals. This post covers Act 2 of the final dress rehearsal. Part 1 is at this link. Part 2 is at this link. Part 3 is at this link.

The entire cast is composed of an extraordinary group of young people. All either current college/university theatre/music/dance students or recent graduates. It is a competitive field they have chosen for their careers and their performances here at PBT certainly indicate they are ready to compete.

Demand has been so strong this season for all the shows at PBT that owners Bob and Sandy Malone have often had to add extra performances to meet the need. You should consider purchasing season tickets for next summer (they go on sale in December) to ensure a seat in advance. For tickets and information, you can contact PBT online at this link or by phone: 508-224-4888.

The plot of "All Shook Up" is: "Inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley. It's 1965, and into a square little town in a square little state rides a guitar-playing roustabout who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical fantasy that'll have you jumping out of your blue suede shoes with such classics as 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Don't Be Cruel'." (Source: PBT)

Many members of the PBT team that make all this happen behind the scenes include:

Owners, Guardians, and Producers: Bob and Sandy Malone
Directors: Jennifer Farrell and Daniel Burmester
Musical Director: Christopher Ricci
Production Manager: Joshua Patino
Stage Manager: Ross Magnant
Asst. Stage Manager: Rosa D'Ambrosio
Choreographer: Jennifer Farrell
Dance Captain: Thomas Doelger
Costumes: Molly Rosenthal
Lighting: Ellie Rogers
Sound: Chris Conti
Set Designer: Joshua Patino

The following images are in order of appearance in the show.

And yes, I realize some images are similar to each other. That is purposeful. None of these are posed (except the final cast portrait), rather, they are moments frozen in time during a live performance. They are basically snapshots. An individual actor/actress may look better in one than the other. It matters if you are the individual actor/actress - perhaps not so much if you're a random reader looking at this blog post - please indulge me for the benefit of the cast. They often use these images to share with family, friends, and to build their portfolio.

(Click on an image for a higher resolution version if your device supports that action).

I don't often caption individual images when I'm covering a theatre performance. Live theater is a team activity but, here I make an exception. Asha Hirsi, above singing, "There's Always Me," just knocks it out of the park if I may get away with using a sports metaphor.

Her voice and emotion is so raw, and beautiful, and wonderful - I've seen/heard this scene live five times and I am still swept away with emotion as if it were my first. Such hope and heartbreak and love and want, all fused together in her voice of unbearable longing........what a striking performance by this young woman.

Scenes like this are what can make live theatre a transcendent experience. You rarely can get a moment like this in the tightly controlled, multiple take, many rehearsal environment of a formal studio that results in a TV show or movie. This is live - the real thing - the richness and depth of emotion that pour out of her is exceptional - and not just for me - the audiences have responded much the same way for each and every show. This confluence of actress, scene, context, music, voice, light, and direction have all come together at this moment to create more than the sum of the parts - this is theatre magic, pure and simple.

That concludes Act 2 of the final dress rehearsal.

This image is a posed cast photo including the directors (front row kneeling at left, and back row second from the right). It was created immediately following the final dress performance.

I have saved this very important recognition for last: the musicians! Under the direction of Christopher Ricci (piano - seated above), along with John Chebator (guitar - second from right), Mark Elsner (second piano - at left), and Isaac Lit (percussion - at right), this show was brought to life by their extraordinary musicianship.

Nestled in their nook just offstage, they provided the accompaniment to the vocalists and created the mood and feel of the Elvis era. Not many community/regional theatres make it the priority to provide top quality live music for their shows as do PBT Owners and Guardians Bob and Sandy Malone. Another reason to put PBT at the top of your personal preferred entertainment venue list.

And at the end, PBT stands regally in the fading light.

Although there is one more show this year, "Little Shop of  Horrors," in October, it's not too early to start thinking about next summer.........season tickets go on sale in December. The PBT 2018 season will offer:

"The Last Five Years" in May,
"The Drowsy Chaperone" in June,
"Guys and Dolls" in July,
"Bye, Bye, Birdie" in August,
"Damn Yankees" in September,
"Dames at Sea" in October.

Plan now to be there! Support this local, live theatre in our community or, wherever you may live in the world. Live theatre is storytelling at its finest - and storytelling is at the core of our shared humanity.

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