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Audience 'Shook Up' Over Pelham Memorial Show

PELHAM, N.Y. – Pelham Memorial Drama Club Sock n’ Buskin presented the Elvis Presley and William Shakespeare inspired musical “All Shook Up” to family and friends Sunday afternoon, ending the show with a standing ovation from the audience.

“They were great,” said director, Tom Beck. “The thing was they embrace this musical, they loved the songs, they loved the story based on Shakespeare.” Beck said many of the kids had read “Twelfth Night,” the comedy written by Shakespeare, in ninth-grade and therefore “it just was a perfect match.”

“When they love something, they do it 100 percent,” he said of his more than 30 students who were involved both on stage and behind the scenes. “It was a lot of work and I love this cast because they made it a priority in their lives.”

He was making his directorial debut for Pelham Memorial musicals and said he was thankful to see a packed auditorium during the shows on Friday and Sunday.

The musical centers on a 1955 small town girl named Natalie Haller, played by senior Maddy McDaniel, who wishes to leave home, and a rebellious boy named Chad, played by senior T.J. O’Brien, who brings public shows of affection and dancing back to the town that had banned such things.

The show is set to some of Presley’s biggest hits, such as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Don't Be Cruel.”

Junior Noah Peck thanked Beck for his devotion to the cast following the show.

“I love him to death,” said Peck of the director he’s worked on 10 shows with since seventh-grade. “He can be serious and he can be funny at the same time. He really gets the message across and he really does what’s best for you. I think he sacrifices so much for the show to go on and the least we can do is we give him the best we can do.”

Peck and Beck were both glad that all three shows went well, but were going to miss the more than 10 seniors who will graduate this year.

Beck called them the “backbone of the club,” for their “spirit and leadership” that they bring to the group. “It’s going to be very hard for me.” “This is their last show forever here, so you have to put in your all and this is always one of the best performances because I don’t want to disappoint my friends,” said Peck.

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