Montclair High School - Showcase 2014: Rockin' Out,
Montclair High’s School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA) presents Showcase 2014: Rockin' Out, a rock musical revue directed and choreographed by visiting arts professionals Corey Rubel and Joseph Tudor, in collaboration with SVPA music director Ken Horn and under the leadership of SVPA director Brenda Pepper. Twenty-six talented singers and dancers star in a production performed, built, staged and managed by MHS students. Set construction by MHS student tech crew is directed by Ken Cleerdin. Set designer is MHS student Nikki Baltzer. Show dates are Friday, December 6 at 8pm; Saturday, December 7 at 8pm; Friday, December 13 at 8pm; Saturday, December 14 at 8pm; and Sunday, December 15 at 3pm Tickets are onsale at http://www.seatyourself.biz/montclairschoolarts. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the box office an hour before show time.
Director Corey Rubel said the concept of a rock revue came to him, given the recent rise of rock musicals. SVPA had never done a rock show and he thought Showcase 2014: Rockin’ Out was a chance to do something different. The show has the feel of a rock concert and he has pushed his actors to explore what it is to be a rock star. Rubel has focused the first half of the show on the theatricality of rock music and the stories it tells, with a lot of upbeat songs and full company dance numbers. The second act focuses on the emotional content of rock music. Audiences can expect a ballad or two. Rubel says he has created a show for all ages. “I think Rockin’ Out has a little bit of everything for everyone. The audience can expect a fast-paced rock revue with tons of music that will get audiences of all ages “rockin’ out” from the beginning to the end!”. Choreographer Joseph Tudor says, “The choreography in Rockin’ Out is just fun. That’s the first word that comes to mind. There is such a wide range of dance in this show with contemporary dancing, head banging, full ensemble numbers and such. It will be exciting to watch as an audience member.”
Rubel worked closely with SVPA music director Ken Horn whose knowledge of music and composition, he says, has enabled his vision of a rock revue. Horn provides guidance to the young singers to whom he teaches the music, coaches the performance, and, when necessary, customizes the music to fit a performer’s unique skill set. Most importantly, he says, “ I am there to help make the director's vision a reality without sacrificing the musical integrity of the show.” Horn plays the piano and will lead the 11-member pit band, nine of whom are MHS students, recruited for the show by SVPA Band rep and MHS Senior, Jack Ferguson, who has been playing SVPA shows since his freshman year. Instrumentation is alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, guitar, bass, violin, cello, drums and three keyboards. Horn says about working with Corey Rubel, “I feel the students are very fortunate to be working with Corey on this production. He has been able to bring performances out of the students that are, by leaps and bounds, some of the best I have seen them deliver.”
Showcase, always a musical revue, is the first of three productions presented by SVPA each school year. Unlike a traditional musical that features a cast of leads and an ensemble, each member of Showcase is given a moment to shine in a solo performance. Showcase 2014: Rockin’ Out will give twenty-six students that moment. Brenda Pepper says, “I am extremely excited to see the fruits all of the hard work come to fruition. Corey Rubel, Ken Horn and Joseph Tudor have brought such talent, creativity, rigor, and love to the students. I know Rockin’ Out is going to, well...rock!”
When not working with SVPA on Showcase 2014: Rockin’ Out, Corey Rubel is getting his Masters from New York University in theatre education and working as a youth theater educator throughout New Jersey. Corey is the Youth Program Director at the Villagers Theatre in Somerset, NJ; he works for both Paper Mill Playhouse and George Street Theatre, and will be working in the Kenilworth School District this spring. Corey has over 20 directing credits. He is already getting rave reviews from the students and teachers connected to Showcase 2014: Rockin’ Out.