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Fairview's theater department presents All Shook Up

By Shoshana Pollack in Arts & Culture

Eighty-two extremely talented performers. Sixteen hours of rehearsal a week. Twelve pit members. Twenty crew members. A producer, a choreographer, a director. And thirty thousand dollars. Just a few of the things going into Fairview High School’s fall production of “All Shook Up.”

Janice Vlachos, one of Fairview’s choir directors and and the musical’s producer, prefers to spend what she thinks she can make in ticket sales. As the Fairview musicals are expensive, that tends to be a lot. “You’re talking several thousand [dollars] in sets, several thousand in costumes, several thousand in sound. The rights to do the show are several thousand dollars. So the big chunks just kind of add up. And then you have your little pieces, the small things like publicity,” said Vlachos.

In the end, it will be worth it. “All Shook Up” will be hilarious, charming, fun and quirky. As she does every year, Vlachos picked the show by looking at the talent and potential in the choir department.

“This year we had a really heavily pop-based group of kids,” she said. “I also knew we had a lot of really great dancers. So I wanted to go fun. I listened to the music and I loved it.”

“All Shook Up,” based loosely on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and filled with Elvis’s music, begins when bad boy Chad gets out of jail. He makes his way to the dead little town where the show takes place. The mayor controls everything, and there’s no dancing allowed. Said Vlachos, “He shakes up the town, a bunch of people fall in love, and it all ends happy.”

Josh Rivera, who plays Chad, called it, “ ‘Footloose’ mixed with ‘She’s the Man’ mixed with ‘Hairspray.’ ”

Cast members put in up to two hours every day after school, three most Fridays, and five to six every Saturday. It’s a reasonable rehearsal schedule, but a huge time commitment nevertheless. “Everyone has worked really hard,” said Rivera. The directors also put in huge amounts of time and effort. “It’s a lot,” said Vlachos, “but we have a really great team, so we spread a lot of things out.”

So far, the musical definitely hasn’t been easy. The biggest challenge, according to Vlachos, has been “making sure that we play the show very earnestly so the laughs are there but it’s not cheesy. It can tend to go that way. Musicals themselves can tend to go cheesy if you just burst into song in the middle of a conversation. But this one even more so- we’re dealing with all Elvis music. So we’re trying to make sure we really play it from that place of earnestness. We’re going for a laugh, but not a fake laugh.”

As challenging as it’s been, “All Shook Up” has lead to some truly amazing moments. Vlachos explained, “that moment when the kids have rehearsed for six hours  putting a dance together. They’ve been polishing it all day. Everyone is tired, but they just go for it. And you get to see how far people came in one day.”

Rivera said, “I really like the acts where the ensemble comes in and joins.” And aside from the moments themselves, there are the close friendships that the musical creates.

“I like the community with the musical,” said Francis Purcell, a Sophomore and one of the show’s experienced dancers.

“It’s a very terrific show.” said Josh Rivera. “The dialogue is really very funny. The plot is hilarious.”

According to Vlachos, “It’s fun. The music itself is just such a blast. And I think it’s worth it for everybody to come and see the amazing kids, and how much talent there is.

“All Shook Up” will  be playing November 8-13. Tickets will be available starting November first.

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