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Oak Ridge student takes spotlight in her own concert

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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While some high school students are thinking about plans for the weekend, one student is focused on her first concert. Olivia Kaufmann, a sophomore at Oak Ridge High School, turned 16 last month. Involved in acting and musical theater since she was 9, Kaufmann is now stepping into the spotlight with her name as top billing. “This is her first work billed as her own show,” said Allen Schmeltz, director and producer for the show. “I think it’s going to be great. The rehearsal was great. She has a nice variety of songs and she has a great back-up group.” Kaufmann said she’s planning on a mix of music. “I’m going to be performing various songs from different musicals and a few classic songs such as those from ‘Cabaret’ and George Gershwin,” Kaufmann said. “I’m going to be incorporating some songs from more modern musicals as well.” Schmeltz said audiences should enjoy the show. “Olivia is a really great singer. She’s a real belter, too,” Schmeltz said. “She’s going to take the roof off the place.” Kaufmann turned 16 in September. “I was in a show at Sutter Street Theatre that Allen was directing, ‘13 The Musical,’ and he asked me if I’d be interested in doing a concert with some material I had,” she recalled. “I was excited to be given that opportunity.” Kaufmann is currently involved in El Dorado Musical Theatre’s touring company, High Voltage, and she hopes to be involved in music and acting in the future. “I plan to look into colleges that have good theater and music programs,” she said. “I’m not sure if I’m majoring in it, but I will definitely want to be involved in it since it’s a major passion in my life.” For Kaufmann, this concert is an opportunity to get to work with some talented people she’s met while doing other productions. “I was just in a show recently at Rocklin Community Theatre, ‘Footloose,’” she said. “I met some really friendly people who were very talented.” Andrew Wilson, Caroline Mixon and twin siblings Madi and Alex Crossland are scheduled to join Kaufmann on stage. Leigh Leonard is featured on the piano. “Caroline and Andrew and I performed together at El Dorado Musical Theatre,” she said. “They’re very talented. I’ve known Andrew since I was 9 years old. We’ve been performing together for a long time.” What are Kaufmann’s three favorite productions? “I really enjoyed doing El Dorado Musical Theatre’s ‘Hairspray,’ ‘13: The Musical’ at Sutter Street Theatre and at Rocklin Community Theatre, I played Rusty in ‘Footloose.’ That was really fun with all the ‘80s music,” she said. Schmeltz said he’s looking forward to creating more concerts like this in the future. “I’m really excited about it. It’s really neat. If this works well, I’d like to start doing more of this,” he said. “I’d like to start working with some of the young talent.” * * * KNOW AND GO What: Olivia and Friends concert When: 4 p.m., Oct. 22, 2 p.m. Oct. 23 Where: Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter St., Folsom Cost: $15 Information: (916) 353-1001, sutterstreettheatre.com