Move over SNL, Johnston High School’s FNL promises to deliver as many laughs, surprises and great performances during tomorrow night’s long-awaited 2nd Annual Friday Night Live show as NBC’s Emmy Award-winning Saturday Night Live.
“The kids have been writing and adapting sketch comedy acts since last year’s show,” Ron Lamoureux, chairman of the presenting Johnston High School Music Department, explained Tuesday. “Seven p.m. is the curtain and you won’t want to miss a minute of it!”
One reason, in particular, as Lamoureux said, “The show has been produced exclusively by our students. We’re there as a support staff. This is also a terrific testimony of their many, many talents … Mr. (Matt) Gingras and I are proud of everyone who is contributing to this great production.”
Lamoureux said FNL is a parody of SNL and filled with hilarious acts, comical skits and musical performances that showcase the students great sense of humor and promises laughs aplenty for everyone who purchase a $10 general admission ticket.
Moreover, as Lamoureux said, “The show is hilarious and appropriate for all ages. The skits have come along very well. In fact, I haven’t laughed so much in a long while.”
Planning for tomorrow night’s show, which will be held inside the JHS auditorium, actually began after last year’s FNL that Lamoureux said was so well-received the kids actually couldn’t wait to get started for this year’s production.
“We started cutting in December and have been revising and trimming since then,” the JHS Music Department chairman said. “The kids came up with almost 40 skits for our current show and the end result is 18 different scenes.”
He also explained there are nine lives scenes and the remainder are previously taped acts or musical selections.
One such scene will feature the new JHS A Capella Club, initiated by JHS Choir and Chorus Director Matt Gingras, that will perform “Jessie’s Girl” that has been arranged by senior member Matthew Eisemann who actually came up with the idea and has also arranged several other tunes the group has learned.
Abby Rain-Heiser, who is well-known around Pantherland for her beautiful renditions of he National Anthem, will sing “That’s What You Get” from Paramore and will be accompanied by an ad hoc rock band.
“The group formed a few weeks ago just for FNL,” Lamoureux said. “Josiah and Jeremiah Heu play the trumpet and clarinet in the school band, but will join JHS alum Michael Pastore on different instruments during the show.”
Pastore, who is an education major at Rhode Island College, is the rock band’s lead guitar while Jeremiah will play the drums and Josiah will play bass. Meanwhile, Rain-Heiser is will make her first public appearance after being selected Miss USA National Rhode Island Teen and is rated one of the JHS Music Department’s strongest contributors.
Between the cast and technical staff, FNL will include some 20-plus students and as Lamoureux mused: “Roughly twenty percent of our cast is named Zach or Jack. We have three Zachs and one Jack.”
Zakary Rogala, in fact, told Lamoureux “I’m glad to have the opportunity to be part of the crew. I just wish I was in last year’s show.”
To which Zach Zambarano added: “FNL will blow you away!”
The entire production team includes Ben Budway, Jake Mainey, Andres Pineda, Zach Zambarano, Ian Banno, Matt Eisemann, Nick Gallo, Jack Frenier, Zach Morin, Shajeer Jamil, Elizabeth Cruz, Emil Gaye, Kelsey Scott, Ashley DiLorenzo, Abby Rain-Heiser, Gianna Koning, Lauren Civettti and Maikou Kue.
FNL will also include a sneak preview of the J-DAPA’s upcoming production of “Beauty and The Beast” and will perform with their full contingent of actors.
“This part of the show should also be awesome,” said Lamoureux. “Please remember: The curtain will go up at 7 o’clock so don’t be late; you won’t want to miss a minute of the fun and frills our troupe will present.”