LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts will present ALL SHOOK UP
In a triumphant return after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, students from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts will take the stage this month for the musical performance from the entire school of “All Shook Up,” a 2004 Broadway musical that takes the music of Elvis Presley and turns it into a story of inspiration and inclusion.
LaGuardia students last performed in an all-school musical in 2019, and the school has been preparing for a return to the stage for more than a year. In choosing “All Shook Up,” LaGuardia sought a show that would be fun and entertaining, but also provided an uplifting message of acceptance.
The LaGuardia cast of “All Shook Up” includes 51 students from New York’s five boroughs, partnered with 11 students making up the pit orchestra and 91 dedicated tech students, who are responsible for everything from set construction to costume design, lighting work. Rehearsals have been underway since late October and will have racked up over 250 hours by the opening performance on February 13.
“It’s so exciting to see these kids have this opportunity to revisit their passion for stage performance and to see them rediscover the love and talent that is so much a part of them,” said Lee, a theater teacher at LaGuardia and director of “All Shook Up”. Lobenhofer.
The pandemic created particularly complex challenges for the LaGuardia community as art exhibits and performances moved online during the 2020-2021 school year. During the 2021-2022 school year, students returned to the art gallery and stage for a series of drama, dance, fine art, and music shows and performances.
The challenges for LaGuardia’s technical theater studio were also particularly great, as some students had not had access to physical tools to learn their craft for more than a year. The production of “All Shook Up” represents for them also a chance to shine again.
The LaGuardia production team is complemented by a talented trio of choreographers, all of whom graduated in 2016 from LaGuardia High School. Led by Dharon Jones, a LaGuardia dance major who was recently seen as Riff in the 2020 Broadway revival of West Side Story, the group also includes Adriel Flete, who most recently starred in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 West Side Story. as Julito, and Victoria Fiore, who featured in the 2019 FX networks series Fosse/Vernon.
“All Shook Up” marks LaGuardia’s 21st musical. LaGuardia alumni who performed in school musicals, including Timothée Chalamet, Lilli Cooper, Lorna Courtney, Micaela Diamond, Jharrel Jerome, Dharon Jones, Samuel Henry Levine and Tomas Matos, continued to perform on Broadway and At the movie theater.
The cast and orchestra of “All Shook Up” will perform masked, which adds another set of challenges but, Lobenhofer said, also serves as a symbol of the many difficulties the students overcame to make this production a reality.
“All Shook Up” will be performed to a limited live audience of students, faculty and staff, as well as cast and crew family members, but four of the six performances will also be broadcast. live for free via LaGuardia High School website. Performances will take place on Sunday February 13 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., Monday February 14 and Tuesday February 15 at 5 p.m. and Wednesday February 16 and Thursday February 17 at 7 p.m. Performances on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday will be available via livestream, which can be viewed at www.laguardiahs.org/events.