Young Berks County per­form­ers rocked ‘Camp Rock’

The Southern Berks News - - RELIGION - By Ch­eryl Thorn­burg cthorn­burg@berk­smon­tnews.com

The thing I love most about youth pro­duc­tions like Read­ing Civic Theatre’s “Camp Rock,” is the en­ergy and pos­i­tiv­ity that young per­form­ers bring to the stage – and the au­di­ence. You come away feel­ing good about the fu­ture, know­ing that it’s in good hands with this next gen­er­a­tion.

Some of Berks County’s most gifted young per­form­ers brought “Camp Rock” to life at the Miller Cen­ter at Read­ing Area Com­mu­nity Col­lege Sept. 16-18. Even though the show has closed, these tal­ented young peo­ple de­serve recog­ni­tion for bring­ing such qual­ity en­ter­tain­ment to Berks County.

Schools from all over the county were rep­re­sented: Read­ing, Ex­eter, Co­cal­ico, Daniel Boone, Oley, Schuylkill Val­ley, Wy­omiss­ing, Wil­son, Fleet­wood, Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion Academy and 21st Cen­tury Cy­ber Char­ter School.

This was a fun, fam­ily show with rock-solid vo­cals and high-en­ergy per­for­mances,

Be­ing based on the Dis­ney movies of the same name, it of­fered pos­i­tive mes­sages for young peo­ple set in a sit­u­a­tion that they would rec­og­nize.

It fol­lows the kids at­tend­ing Camp Rock, a mu­sic camp, who dis­cover that a ri­val camp, Camp Star, has cropped up nearby. It sets up a com­pe­ti­tion for the two camps to bat­tle it out.

Camp Rock’s stars in­clude Mitchie, an as­pir­ing singer/song­writer played to per­fec­tion by Jo­ce­lyn Shank, who starts off Open­ing Jam with a solo “This Is Me,” un­til she is joined Shane Gray, played by Ryan Cunningham, and it be­comes a stel­lar duet. Shane is the lead singer for Con­nect 3, a trio in­clud­ing his two broth­ers, Nate (played by Daniel Behler) and Ja­son (played by Josh Evert.)

To add some in­ner ri­valry, a wealthy, spoiled camper with con­nec­tions, Tess Tyler, de­liv­ers “Start the Party.” Tess is played by El­iz­a­beth Cote with just the right sass and at­ti­tude.

When the campers visit Camp Star, which is

quipped with the best of ev­ery­thing, Tess switches camps, along with some Camp Rock staffers.

Other key Camp Rock­ers in­clude Cait­lyn, Mitchie’s best friend, played by Mad­die Fee­man; two break dancers played by Bailey Am­mons and Jordan Eck.

The camp di­rec­tors are both played by adults. Stephen Stankiewicz plays Camp Rock founder, Brown Ce­sario and his coun­ter­part at Camp Star and for­mer band-mate, Axel Turner, is played by Tom Cote.

Camp Star has its own im­pres­sive num­bers in­clud­ing “Fire” and their bat­tle song “Tear It Down.” Key play­ers on the Camp Star

crew are the tal­ented, but ar­ro­gant, Luke Wil­liams, played to per­fec­tion by Jef­fer­son Lopez; Dana Turner, Axel’s daugh­ter, played by Olivia Gardella with both a sweet­ness and spunk.

The Romeo and Juli­et­type love story be­tween Dana and the shy, Nate, will ring true with many young teens.

Other Camp Rock cast mem­bers in­clude: Kar­leigh Pat­ton, Amanda Rivera, Brid­get Ot­tinger, Grayson Hale, Chloe Mar­tu­rano, Sofia Stankiewicz, Car­son Lan­dis and Justin Per­sick­etti.

Other Camp Star kids in­cluded Carla Man­nix, Daniel Sch­legel, Emer­son Ga-

gnon, Anna Sch­legel, Tay­lor Clark, Jaysa Man­nix and Kylie Rea­sor.

Many of the songs are the kind that stick with you when the show is over, in­clud­ing “Play My Mu­sic,” “Heart and Soul,” “What We Came Here For” and “This Is Our Song.”

The show was di­rected by Jean­nette DeAn­gelo, with as­sis­tant di­rec­tor, Barb Yurick.

Chore­og­ra­phy was by An­gela DeAn­gelo; mu­si­cal di­rec­tion by Jar­rod Miller; light­ing by Jeff Cu­sano and set de­sign by Larry Pisano.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Read­ing Civic Theatre, visit their web­site www.read­ing­civic.org

PHOTO BY CH­ERYL THORN­BURG

Tal­ented young per­form­ers from all over Berks County rocked the Miller cen­ter with Dis­ney’s “Camp Rock.”

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