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Shelburne thespians are “All Shook Up”

June 13, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Marni Walsh

Some popular Shelburne area performers, directors and designers are taking part in the stage production All Shook Up opening next week, and they are asking Shelburne audiences to come out and support the show.

The Broadway musical based on the music of Elvis Presley, presented by Orangeville Music Theatre, will open at the Opera House on Broadway June 16th.

Bobbi Ferguson of Shelburne is the costume mistress for the production and her daughter Raeburn is the director and choreographer.

Other Shelburne and area talents include Tianna Bryant and several well-known performers from recent LP Stage Productions including Jason Riedel, Kelly McDowell, and Joseph Seebok, as well as Troupe-Adore dinner theatre performer Desmond Baxter.

Inspired by, and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, the story takes place in a small town in 1955 which is forever changed by a “guitar-playing, hip-swivelling, lip-curling roustabout.”

A re-telling of the classic Shakespearean tale Twelfth Night, the “musical fantasy” promises to have audiences jumpin’ out of their blue suede shoes with classics such as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”

Director/choreographer Raeburn Ferguson is a graduate of Centre Dufferin High School in Shelburne, where she took part in musicals with drama teacher Tanja Oomen as her mentor.

Her love of musical theatre started in Grade Nine when she was cast as Sandy in CDDHS’ production of Grease. Raeburn studied Devised Theatre at York University specializing in directing, and is currently a busy artist, teaching arts programs at the Harbourfront Centre, dance at Creswell Dance Academy in Toronto, performing in the traveling show “Catch a Break,” as well as directing The Play Project at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre.

Although Raeburn lives and works in Toronto, she loves to perform, direct and choreograph in her hometown community.

“As always, I am blown away by the local talent,” says Ms. Ferguson. We have some powerhouse voices, amazing dancers and hilarious comedians in our cast that bring this story to life. Most importantly, this show is about love and acceptance, which in today’s social climate is extremely important to promote. As John Lennon said ‘it matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love…it matters only that you love.’”

Bobbi Ferguson, a busy volunteer and one of the main organizers for the Christmas Hamper program and the Heritage Music Festival in Shelburne, says she has “always been involved in theatre of some kind”, and “got the bug for creating theatre costumes” when she helped with a production of The Rocky Horror Show a number of years ago.

“Costumes make the characters come to life and add elements to a production like nothing else can,” says Bobbi. “It’s a lot of work, but I love being involved in the theatre, working with come super-talented people and, most of all, I love to work with Raeburn and see her vision come to life.”

Performer Desmond Baxter says he likes “the fact that there’s so much going on that’s of an upbeat nature” in the show.

“The audience can go away with the sense that they were whisked away to that moment in time when life was so much easier,” he says.

Jason Riedel, most recently seen as “Fagan” in LP Stage Productions’ Oliver at Grace Tipling Hall says, “I love being so many different characters throughout All Shook Up. I feel excited for people to see the fantastic choreography and hear the fabulous harmonies.”

Mr. Riedel and Mr. Baxter worked to build a fantastic set for All Shook Up along with Kelly McDowell.

Joseph Seebok calls the OMT staff “highly organized and helpful,” and says “it’s the singing that stands out the most” for him in the production, calling it “beautiful at any level.”

At 16, Tianna Bryant is Shelburne’s youngest performer in the production. “Being in this production of All Shook Up has really made me appreciate Elvis’ music more,” she says. “I believe I speak for everyone in the production when I say that we’re all really excited to show people what we’ve been working on for the past few months. I’ve worked with so many amazing people and have made so many friends. I think that alone make the weekly drives from Shelburne worth it.”

All Shook Up features a live band and 32 local singers, actors and dancers including the Shelburne favourites.

Reaburn Ferguson says she would “love to see familiar Shelburne faces in the audience. You will not be disappointed!”

 

All Shook Up opens next week and runs from June 16 to the 25 at the Opera House in Orangeville. Tickets are available by calling 519-942-3423; in person at the Opera House – 87 Broadway in Orangeville or at the Orangeville Visitor Centre – 200 Lakeview Court in Orangeville; or online at www.orangevillemusictheatre.com.

         

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