Producer Rob Jacoby measures the success of Alexander Hamilton High School’s theater program in one very tangible way.
He doesn’t have to go out and drag kids off the practice field to get them to rehearsal.
“Last year, I was dragging kids in off the field to rehearse,” he says with a laugh.
Not this year.
This year, the huge cast of the Elvis jukebox musical “All Shook Up” are ready and accounted for: some 40 kids firing on all cylinders.
Under Jacoby and director-choreographer Lexie Frare, musical director Stephen Ferri and co-musical director Hillary Johnson, they are focused on the task at hand: telling the story of “Chad,” a roustabout on a motorcycle who rolls into town and stirs things up. It has the music of Elvis and a storyline loosely based on “Twelfth Night,” with a heroine who dresses like a mechanic.
It’s not far from last year’s “Footloose,” the story of another outsider who blows into town.
Playing Ren last year, and Chad this year is senior Aram Peers, who has been the one constant on stage for years as the musical has taken root at Hamilton. He was there for the junior productions of “Annie” and “Little Shop” that got the musical rolling again.
And he’s here this year to finish his run, with Heather Rubin Cabrera playing Natalie.
Yes, this year is a lot like last year.
Except for the fact that this year’s producer no longer has to hit the practice field.
“All Shook Up,” 7 p.m., March 28; 2 and 7 p.m., March 29. $12, $10 students and seniors; 914-592-8440.
Here’s the Running Lines video I shot at Alexander Hamilton. Enjoy!