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Young Somers Actors Play Off Broadway, Then Fly To The Fringe

SOMERS, N.Y. – Four young thespians from Somers High School will be appearing Off-Broadway beginning July 21 in an Infinity Repertory Theatre production of “MOD: The Musical.”

Written and directed by Paul Andrew Perez, it is an original musical comedy about the effect of the 1960’s British Invasion and Beatlemania on a half dozen Catholic high school kids in a small New England town.

Off Broadway is just the beginning for the troupe, though. On August 2 they will take off for Edinburgh, Scotland, where they will perform for three weeks at the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The Somers actors are Tom Oliverio (Class of 2011) Catherine Saraceno (Class of 2012) and Joe Coppola and Jessica Shaw , who are still students at the high school.

Oliverio, now a student at the University of Hartford, said, “I grew up on the Beatles, so they’re very close to my heart. In fact, they’re my favorite band and ‘Blackbird’ is my favorite song. It was the first song I learned to play on the guitar.” Tom plays the role of Rory, described as “a little dorky and shy and hoping to become the fifth Beatle.”

Coppola, going into his senior year at Somers High, gets to play seven different roles, including a nun, a diner owner, a couple of Americans (one from the south), an Eastern European and a Brit. “I learned to do the different accents from a CD that Catherine [Saraceno] gave me,” he said. His favorite Beatle is Ringo because Joe too plays the drums, in addition to the trombone and piano. His favorite Beatles song is “Hello, Goodbye.”

Shaw plays Kit, "a character who is very controlling. She always knows what she wants and gets it,” said Shaw, who is going into 10th-grade.

Saraceno plays Cassandra. “I auditioned for Hayley, but the director asked me to play Cassandra. She’s a type of character I’ve never played before. I usually play serious parts, but this one is comedic. I’ve read a lot about the Beatles. My grandmother lived during that time.”

"MOD: The Musical” will be at the 59 West 59th Street Theater from July 21-29. All performances are at 7 p.m. For further information and to order tickets, go to www.modthemusical.com.

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