St. Paul’s Tonight: Rock Around the Clock with Performances on May 2 & 3

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Carol Hokana, Kathleen Mercure, Wendy Ciaccia, and Karen Kruger rehearse the audience sing-along number, “[Don’t They Know It’s the] End of the World.” – Courtesy image
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Sharon Healey and Roberta Valday reenact a vintage laundry detergent commercial. – Courtesy image

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is delighted to present ST. PAUL’S TONIGHT: ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK, a musical revue for all ages, on May 2 and 3 at the John Glenn Middle School auditorium.

This fifth incarnation of ST. PAUL’S TONIGHT celebrates the music and memories of the 1950s, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the parish’s founding in 1955.

“We had so much fun putting together our last show [in 2013],” said Emily Mitchell, writer and director, “that as soon as it was over, we started making plans for the next one. 2015 is the 60th anniversary of St. Paul’s founding as a mission church in Bedford, so it made sense to focus this show on the 1950s. There are so many great songs and pop culture icons of this era that it was hard to choose which ones to include!”

John Mitchell, David Woodward, Nick Bonifanti, Jim Seaton, and Ed Johnson rehearse the theme from “Rawhide.” - Courtesy image
John Mitchell, David Woodward, Nick Bonifanti, Jim Seaton, and Ed Johnson rehearse the theme from “Rawhide.” – Courtesy image

The show is a fast-paced romp loosely centered around the year 1955, when rock and roll was just coming into its own. The show begins with selections of standards from the Hit Parade, including songs from Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. An extended sequence on the Golden Age of Television includes the theme song from “Rawhide,” sung by the men’s chorus; a send-up of Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life;” and performances by the children’s chorus of the theme songs to “Howdy Doody” and “The Mickey Mouse Club.” Act One concludes with a tribute to Esther Williams that will have audiences rolling in the aisles; a performance of “Mr. Sandman” by the “Paulettes,” complete with actual Sandman; and a parody song, “Sunday School Dropout,” performed by St. Paul’s rector, Rev. Chris Wendell, accompanied by a six-man close-harmony group.

Act Two takes audiences to St. Paul’s Bandstand, where the Dick Clark-esque emcee leads the audience through such bygone hits as “Please, Mr. Postman,” “In the Still of the Night,” “Lollipop,” and “Teenager in Love,” performed on Saturday night by The Right Revered Gayle Harris, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Massachusetts. The second act concludes with a real-life rock band, Bedford’s own Stacy and the Party, backing up songs from Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and Little Richard, and performing their own renditions of two classic Chuck Berry tunes, “Rock and Roll Music” and “Johnny B. Goode.”

Bedford residents will notice many familiar faces in the cast, though you may not have seen them quite like this before. The show is written and directed by Emily Mitchell. Joe Wright serves as music director, and Louisa Saladino-Kuhl is the producer and gal Friday. The show is suitable for the whole family, and clocks in right around one hour and thirty minutes, plus intermission.

Performances are Saturday, May 2, at 7:00pm and Sunday, May 3, at 3:00pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or from any cast member. John Glenn Middle School is located at 99 McMahon Road, Bedford. Proceeds from ticket sales support the missions and ministries of St. Paul’s.

For more information, visit www.stpaulsbedford.org or call the church at 781-275-8262.
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