Danielle Bowen* (Natalie Haller) is so thrilled to be making her debut at Ivoryton Playhouse! Last summer she was seen as Dorothy in North Shore Music Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz (IRNE Nomination) and has appeared regularly in productions and cabarets at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Danielle is a rising senior in the B.F.A. Musical Theatre program at Emerson College in Boston, where she has appeared in productions such as Spring Awakening and Carousel.
Preston Ellis* (Chad) Preston is filled with Burning Love to Ivoryton and Richard for choosing him to play Chad! Thanks to my Roustabout friends for putting up with me, my Teddy Bear agents McBern and Craig for always being there, my Jailhouse voice teacher Lucas for remaining patient, and especially to my parents for helping me Follow That Dream. You may have seen Preston on the 2012 Tony Awards as Corny Collins, the Grease Broadway Tour with Taylor Hicks, on Law and Order: SVU, or at theatres across the country including: Theatre Under the Stars, Ogunquit, Arvada, Tuacahn, The Wick, North Carolina Theatre, Stages St. Louis, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Phoenix Theatre, West Virginia Public Theatre, and Flat Rock. And I Don’t Want To forget about you. Thank you thank you for coming to see our show and making it possible for all of us to do what we love. Now C’mon Everybody and Let Yourself Go! It’s almost time to get All Shook Up! Follow me on instagram at Prestonellis1, twitter @Prestonellis, and at PrestonMEllis.com
R. Bruce Connelly* (Jim Haller) appeared last at the Ivoryton Playhouse as the title role in The Bells Of Dublin. Other roles here include Barney Cashman in Last Of The Red Hot Lovers, Max Bialystock in The Producers, Archie in celebration of the Playhouse’s 100th anniversary, the title role in Barnum, Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Finian in Finian’s Rainbow, Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace, Willie Clark in The Sunshine Boys and Max Prince in Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Other roles elsewhere include J.M. Barrie in The Lost Boy at the Helen Hayes Theatre, Murray Burns in A Thousand Clowns and title roles in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Scapino!, Uncle Vanya, The Music Man and half the town in Greater Tuna. Since 1993, Bruce has played Barkley, Jim Henson’s Muppet dog on Sesame Street for which he has been honored fifteen times by the National Academy of Television and Radio at the Daytime Emmy Awards.
Onyie* (Sylvia) This is Onyie’s debut at Ivoryton Playhouse and she looks forward to this exciting opportunity in such a great show! Her previous work includes the national tour of “Cirque Dreams – Illumination” as well as playing Joanne in the national tour of Rent the rock opera. She has also performed as lead female vocalist with Royal Caribbean Cruises as well as Holland America Cruises. Other credits include regional productions and cabarets in and around New York City for Broadway Sings for Pride as well as various composers, including her own cabaret titled One Night Onyie! Onyie would love to thank Ivoryton Playhouse for this great opportunity and her family and friends for all their support. A special thanks to Darrell Joe for his loving persistence and a special thanks to God for the same.
Danielle Famble (Lorraine) is excited to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut! She was most recently seen in as Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors with the Mount Carmel Theater Company in New York City. This spring, Danielle originated the role of Sadie in Peace, Love, and Cupcakes the Musical at Vital Theater and will be reprising her role later this summer. Many thanks to the cast and creative team at Ivoryton Playhouse. Let’s rock! www.daniellefamble.com.
Nicholas Park* (Dennis) is a New York based actor and proud member of AEA. He has an ongoing love affair with tater tots and enjoys binge watching Netflix. He is also a board member for the Manhattan based, non-profit, Rock & Rawhide. LOVE to the cast, crew, creatives, and everyone involved with making this show groove. Also, love to Avalon Artists Group, my friends and family, Brad, and my main hound dog, Lucy. Visit nicholasparkactor.com
Mara Jill Herman* (Miss Sandra) is happy to revisit the role of Miss Sandra in her Ivoryton debut! Tours: Jesus Christ Superstar & Showroom at Sea. Recently, Mara portrayed Maureen in Rent with the Gallery Players. Other favorites include Lizzie in Baby (Broward Stage Door), Adelaide in Guys & Dolls (Great Plains), Maria in Love’s Labour’s Lost (Utah Shakes) & Sally understudy in Nerds (Philadelphia Theater Co.). She is a contributing author to “So You Wanna Be A Superstar?” and a YoungArts winner/ Resident Advisor. Mara holds a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from University of the Arts. Thank you to the creative team, cast, friends, family & 9Muse! For Elana. www.marajillherman.com.
Melissa McLean (Mayor Matilda Hyde) happily returns to the Ivoryton Playhouse! Previous Ivoryton credits: Footloose, (Lulu), Hairspray, (Prudy Pingleton/gym teacher/matron), Forum, (Gymnasia), Lettuce and Lovage, (Miss Framer), Lost in Yonkers, (Aunt Gert), Joseph…Dreamcoat and The Robber Bridegroom. She’s toured with American Family Theater’s Wizard of Oz, Babes in Toyland, A Christmas Carol. Favorite Meeting House Players’ productions include Crimes of the Heart, Earth and Sky, The Glass Menagerie. She holds a BFA from UConn. Around the world love to Jeffrey and to her favorite productions ever: 6 year old sons, Ian and Caleb.
Logan Scott Mitchell (Dean Hyde) is overjoyed to be making his Ivoryton debut with All Shook Up. Regional credits: Spamalot, La Cage aux Folles (Chantal), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Male Soloist), White Christmas, Pippin, and My Fair Lady. Logan received training in classical ballet and theatre from the Virginia School of the Arts, the Arizona School for the Arts, and Ballet Arizona. Infinite gratitude to my family and friends.
Larry Lewis (Sheriff Earl) Larry is pleased to return to the Ivoryton Playhouse appearing as Texan ‘Larry’ in last year’s Christmas Show The Bells of Dublin. Larry also appeared as Principal Clark in last summer’s production of Footloose, and as Mister Brownlow in the 2012 production of Oliver!. Other Playhouse favorites include Senator Rawkins in the 2010 production of Finian’s Rainbow, as ‘HC’ in the 2008 production of The Rainmaker, and “Herbie’ in the 2006 production of Gypsy. Others include Major Markinson in A Few Good Men, Virgil Blessing in Bus Stop, and John Hancock in 1776. Regional credits include Harrison Howell in the Colonial Theater’s production of Kiss Me Kate, Dillard in the Marterre Theater Company’s production of Foxfire at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and as Jake in the Majestic Rose production of Jake’s Women.
La’Nette Wallace (Henrietta) is ecstatic to be joining the Ivoryton Playhouse in their production of All Shook Up. After earning a BFA in musical theatre from Five Towns College La’Nette has gone on to perform in several productions. Some of her favorite roles include Effie White, Dreamgirls, Muzzy VanHossmere, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sarah, Ragtime, Motormouth Maybelle, Hairspray and Asaka, Once on this Island. She would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support. A special thanks to her mother, Robin T. Wallace who always told her to follow her dreams. I’ll always sing your song Mommy! “See you later alligator!” “Not for a while crocodile!”
Julianna Alvord is overjoyed to be back at the Ivoryton Playhouse where she was first seen in Barnum. She later performed in Oliver as well as A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Some of her favorite roles include the Witch in Into the Woods, Lucy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and a cast member of Titanic. She is a senior at Valley Regional High School where she is a part of both the gymnastics team and VRMP. She is very thankful for this exciting opportunity.
Caroline Jackson is so thrilled to be here at Ivoryton Playhouse with the cast of All Shook Up! Favorite credits include Peter Pan (Nibs), Baby Case (Anne Lindbergh), Into The Woods (The Witch), Les Miserables (Eponine), and Legally Blonde (Vivienne Kensington). Caroline is currently a junior at The Hartt School where she is a musical theatre major.
Amanda Lupacchino is thrilled to be back at The Ivoryton Playhouse in All Shook Up after making her debut as Lou Ann in Hairspray. This past winter Amanda played the role of Alice in the off-broadway production of Angelina Ballerina: The Very Merry Holiday Musical. Other favorite credits include Annie (national tour), Back to the 80s, Smokey Joe’s Cafe; among many others. Huge thank you to all of my family and friends for their continued support! www.amandaleighlupacchino.com
Jenna Rapisarda is so thankful to be joining the Ivoryton Playhouse family performing in All Shook Up! She is a rising junior at The Hartt School, studying to earn her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. Jenna’s favorite past roles include Anna Hauptman (Baby Case), Needa Trout (Das Barbeque), and Penny Pingleton (Hairspray). She would like to thank all the wonderful human beings involved in this production for their hard work, as well as her family near and far who have shown constant, unconditional love and support. A special shout out to her classmates and teachers at Hartt! Now let’s boogie!
Stephanie Wasser is so excited to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut with the cast of All Shook Up! Last summer she was seen under the sea as a Mersister/Under The Sea dancer in The Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s TYA production of The Little Mermaid. This summer she couldn’t be more thrilled to step into the mid 1950s grooving and dancing it out to some of Elvis Presley’s greatest, rock’n and roll’n hits. Stephanie is a rising senior in the Musical Theatre program at The Hartt School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, where she was in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Alice), Chicago (Liz), Cider House Rules, and The Drowsy Chaperone. Many thanks to the cast and crew for making this show possible and to her incredible family and friends for their constant support and love! Rock on!
Richard Amelius* (Director/Choreographer/Male Ensemble) directed and choreographed last season’s hit production of Footloose. He recently directed the staged reading of Empty City in Manhattan as well as the World Premier of Time Between Us at New York Musical Festival. He also staged the premier of Take Two at Northern Stage in Vermont. He has produced work for a number of theatres and companies around the country including The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, The Walt Disney Corporation, and The NBA. He served as the Artistic Director of Delaware River Theatre Collective and NewART Theatre Company, and as the Associate Artistic Director of Forestburgh Playhouse and Media Theatre where productions and actors, under his supervision, garnered six Philadelphia Barrymore Award nominations including three for Mr. Amelius himself: Two for “Best Choreography” for Sweet Charity and Cabaret and one for “Best Leading Actor in a Musical” for his portrayal of the Emcee in Cabaret.
Ryan Bloomquist graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in drama this past May. Recent credits include Hunter in [title of show], Reverend Crisparkle in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Professor Bhaer in Little Women. A Connecticut native, Ryan is thrilled that All Shook Up has brought him back to CT this summer! For more information visit www.ryanbloomquist.com
Darrell T. Joe is indeed “all shook up” about performing in this show! National Tour: Damn Yankees; Regional: South Pacific (Riverside Theatre), Hello, Dolly! (Theatre Under The Stars)(Arrow Rock Lyceum), Kiss Me, Kate and Can-Can (Westchester Broadway), A Beef & Boards Christmas (Beef & Boards), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Virginia Repertory), and Guys and Dolls (The Palace). Darrell has also performed internationally for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and the Tokyo Disney Resort. He proudly holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Sam Houston State University. Philippians 4:13 www.darrelltjoe.com
Xavier Reyes just graduated Ithaca College and he is originally from Puerto Rico. Previous Ithaca College credits include Fires in the Mirror, Legally Blonde and Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco. Additional regional and professional credits include The Buddy Holly Story, The Full Monty and Puss N Boots at the Cortland Repertory Theatre, the performing company of Cedar Fair, Angel in Rent at Cornell University, Paul in Rent (original Puerto Rico cast), Dr. Grimwig in Oliver, and Daniel’s Son in Once on this Island.
Dyllan Vallier is so excited to be in his first production at the Ivoryton Playhouse! He will be seen again this summer in the Ivoryton Playhouse’s production of La Cage Aux Folles! Educational PTTP Credits Include: Das Barbecü (Milam Lamar), Baby Case (W.R. Hurst), Red Noses (LeGrue), Closer (Dan, Larry). Other credits include: Ragtime, Caroline, Or Change, Anything Goes, Euridyce, Urinetown and Cabaret. Dyllan Vallier is a rising junior at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford with a major in Music Theatre Training and was a graduate of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford in 2012.
Lincoln Ward is thrilled to be working at Ivortyton Playhouse! Favorite past credits include Company, Grease, The Who’s Tommy, and Hello, Again. He is a graduate of Webster Conservatory and an alum of Interlochen Arts Academy. Thanks to his parents for their infinite support and love, my siblings, friends, and the entire Ivoryton team!
Phil Young is a Houston native and a recent graduate of Penn State’s musical theatre program! Some of his favorite credits include Adrian in Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Ogun Size in In The Red And Brown Water, and Production Tenor in Singin’ In The Rain. He gives many thanks to his family, The Ivoryton Playhouse, his teachers, his lovely Lady Palmer, and his Wolfpack.
Directed and Choreographed by: Richard Amelius
Musical Director: Logan Medland
Stage Manager: Michael McDermott*
Scenic Designer: Cully Long
Lighting Design: Marcus Abbott
Costume Design: Kari Crowther
Hair Design: Joel Silvestro
* member of Actors Equity
An Interview with JOE DIPIETRO
Describe the process of writing ALL SHOOK UP
The process involved hearing these songs in a different way. Elvis sang them so distinctly and so brilliantly that we didn’t want an Elvis imitator up there. We wanted to put the songs in a new story and have them heard in a different way. When you have all these disparate songs, you need a concept to hang your hat on; when I came up with the idea of the Shakespeare comedies, that’s when I was really able to write the show.
Talk about the Shakespeare Connection
The bottom line with Elvis’s music is that it makes a lot of people very happy, even 50 years after it was recorded. And I thought, what other type of entertainment form does that? And that’s when I came up with the Shakespeare comedies, which are very much about love and finding your joy, marriage, passion and all the good stuff of life. That combination was, I thought, potent and a lot of fun.
Like Shakespeare’s characters, it seems that the characters in ALL SHOOK UP don’t—or can’t—hide their emotions.
One reason I think Elvis’s work has endured and still touches people so strongly is that he sang with such passion. You really felt all of the joy and all of the heartache in these songs. Listen to the lyrics of “All Shook Up.” It’s really about needing someone so much they rock you to your soul.
Why did you choose 1955 as the time for ALL SHOOK UP? Was it just because Elvis was starting to hit it big, or was it because of the social changes were occurring in the United States, including the beginning of the end of segregation with Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education in 1954?
Elvis was a white guy singing rhythm and blues music for the first time, which really helped R&B cross over to the mainstream, or to white America, I should say. Elvis took rhythm and blues music and really helped to popularize it, and I thought we really needed to stay true to where that music came from, which is obviously the African American community, especially in the South. So that’s very much why it takes place then. In ALL SHOOK UP, this music unleashes the uptightness of these people in small town America and certainly applies to inter-racial dating and same-sex dating. It’s all about loving someone no matter who they are. That’s what the show’s about.
What advice would you give to young people interested in becoming a writer for the theatre?
See as many shows as they can, and read as many plays as they can. When you’re young you really have the time to read and see things, and form your own opinions about what you enjoy and what you don’t enjoy. When you’re young and growing up, don’t let other people’s opinions affect you. Read a play and see a show, and trust your own opinions, and I think that will inform your writing.
Check back here for video clips, photos and more.
All Shook Up
at The Ivoryton Playhouse
Ivoryton: Time to dust off your blue suede shoes: The Ivoryton Playhouse is preparing for its latest summer musical, ALL SHOOK UP by Joe Di Pietro, inspired by and featuring the songs of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley.
The show had its first staging on the shoreline in 2004 at the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester and later ran for 213 performances on Broadway.
Like a play by Shakespeare seen through a fun house mirror, ALL SHOOK UP tips its hat to the Bard, especially his magical comedies Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with themes of unrequited love, humorous confusion, and an ultimately happy ending.
It’s 1955 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. ALL SHOOK UP features 24 Presley classics, such as “Jailhouse Rock” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”
Appropriate for all ages, this one is sure to be an instant hit. Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqueline Hubbard says “We were looking for a summer musical that would appeal to people of all ages and this show certainly fits the bill. It is high energy and really funny with great music but it also deals with themes of inequality and challenging the status quo. And of course, a love story – what would summer be without a good old fashioned love story!”
Directed and choreographed by Richard Amelius and musical directed by Logan Medland, the show features Preston Ellis as Chad and Danielle Bowen as Natalie. Set design by Cully Long, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Kari Crowther.
Will true love prevail? Will the power of music win in the end? Tickets are available online and at the box office.
ALL SHOOK UP opens in Ivoryton on July 2nd and runs through July 27th . Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. There are 2 extra matinees for this show on Saturday July 19th and 26th at 2pm.
Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
Generously sponsored by: Pasta Vita
Members of the press are welcome at any performance. Please call ahead for tickets.
Looking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse was voted Best Place to See Live Theatre by the readers of the Shoreline Times! Come and visit Essex and see a show at this Connecticut historic treasure!