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posted: Wed, Mar 22nd, 2017

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"Can't Help Falling in Love" with "All Shook Up"

Love, mistaken identity, and mishaps abound in this year's musical, "All Shook Up." Integrating many of Elvis's most popular songs, the musical follows the roustabout Chad, played by senior Jack Spinosa, as he tries to liven up a small town by getting them to sing, dance, and love again. "All Shook Up," a 2004 American musical, seamlessly integrates the music of Elvis Presley into a story inspired by Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night."

Mrs. Jodi Bosch, the spring musical director, said she picked "All Shook Up" to be the spring musical as a contrast to last year's "Big Fish," which had a more somber theme. "We graduated a lot of seniors last year," she said, "I wanted a show that had a lot of characters and a large ensemble. This show also integrates a tremendous amount of dancing, and I wanted the students to have a good time performing Elvis's iconic music."

Mrs. Bosch went on to describe the casting of the show: "The leads in this show are outstanding! I could not have chosen better kids to play these amazing roles. Jack Spinosa shines as the roustabout, Chad.  Senior Kara Byrnes brings her singing and dancing abilities to this lead role. Charlie Baduini is amazing as the loveable sidekick, Dennis. Sarah Cowden rocks her songs as the stunning Miss Sandra. Brian Carlstrom's amazing vocals bring heart to the character of Dean, and standout freshman, Lauren Onufryk, is unbelievable as Lorraine. Seniors Anne Hattem and Joshua Laudor are absolutely hilarious in their roles as the Matriarch and Patriarch of the town, while their vocals shine as Sylvia and Jim. Rounding out the principal roles are Priscilla McDade as the strict Mayor Matilda and the silent sheriff Earl, played by Zachary Weiner - look out - these two will surprise you!"

Jack Spinosa, a senior who plays the male lead, Chad, said, "Being in 'All Shook Up' is an amazing experience. As a fan of Elvis's music it is really cool playing a lead role who is supposed to emulate him." Jack also said that he's always wanted to be a performer from a young age and can't wait to continue his acting career after high school.

Byrnes, a senior who plays the female lead, said of her role, "Natalie Haller is a young woman in her mid 20's that's been raised by her father in a small, boring town. Natalie being a mechanic, hasn't yet found the love she's looking for. When newcomer Chad rolls into town on his motorbike Natalie instantly falls head over heels in love. So much so that she even pretends to be a guy to get closer to him." Byrnes also said she loves playing Natalie because she gets to pretend to be someone she's not. You'll have to see the show to see just how different of a person she gets to become!

Hattem, another graduating senior, said she is playing Sylvia, a no-nonsense woman. Hattem continued, "She's a stern, working mom who isn't afraid to speak her mind. It's funny, a lot of my friends in the show call me the drama club mom as it is! I think my favorite part about playing Sylvia is her witty one-liners, but her deep down sensitive side that comes out when she confesses her feelings for Jim."

Hattem went on to describe her favorite part of the show, the relationships between parents and their children. She said, "All the parents want the best for their children, while neglecting to find happiness for themselves, and I think that says a lot about people in real life."

Laudor, a senior in the show who is playing an older character named Jim, said, "Overall my favorite moment in the show is the closing to Act 1, 'Can't Help Falling in Love' with the whole company onstage, soaring in harmony, with true and raw emotion. It gives me chills every time we perform that number. In regards to this being my final role and show at MOHS, it certainly is bittersweet. For the last time, I'll be sharing the stage with some of my closest friends, but I'll always cherish the memories I've made and am looking forward to what the future holds."

Cowden, who is a junior, is playing Miss Sandra, an outsider looking in on the town. Cowden said, "She's incredibly sophisticated and mature, but what she hides is her love for Shakespeare and her desire for companionship. As a whole, everyone is working super hard to make this show a success between the dance numbers, ensemble singing, the pit orchestra, and so much more. I want people to come see the show and have a great experience, maybe even to laugh or sing a little."

Carlstrom's character is Dean Hyde, a 17-year old just getting back from military academy. Carlstrom said, "What I like about my character is that he's willing to do anything for love, including running away from his hometown. I like Dean's willingness to give everything up for something he believes in, for someone he loves."

Leslie Spinosa, a freshman member of Drama Club said, "Being a part Mound Olive Drama Club is like moving to a new neighborhood. I've moved around a bit throughout my life and understand what it feels like to be the new kid. The club isn't just the cast. We would be nothing without the staff and tech crew. The opportunities in Drama club are endless, one I get to experience is being in a show with my older brother. Throughout my years of drama I was often referred to as "Little Spinosa" or "Jack's little sister", This year I was able to be in a show with my brother for the first time since I was 5 years old."

Another freshman member, Lauren Onufryk said, "Putting on this show has been a team effort. It's been amazing bringing everyone together to put on this phenomenal show. I'm looking forward to my role as Lorraine."

Mrs. Bosch added to the show being a team effort, saying, "Our choreographer, Mrs. Janine Byrnes, has outdone herself with the dancing in this show. Our set was constructed by Charlie Reimer and painted by Mr. Van Stone. Once again, our fabulous tech crew, headed up by Mr. Campbell, our lighting crew under the direction of Jeff Christen, and our student-based Pit Orchestra led by conductor and vocal director, Mr. Vanzini bring the amazing spectacle to this production."

"All Shook Up" runs from Thursday March 30th through Saturday, April 1st. Performances are at MOHS in the Performing Arts Center at 7pm each evening. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased through the online box office, during unit lunch, or at the doors, while supplies last.

Please visit the Drama Club website for more information: http://www.mtolivedrama.com/

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Mount Olive High School
18 Corey Road Flanders, NJ 07836
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