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‘High School Musical’ coming to SHS stage

April 15, 2013
Submitted material , Salem News

The Salem High School musical theater department will present "High School Musical" April 19-20 with over 40 students making up the cast for this light, fun, contemporary smash made famous by Disney.

"High School Musical" began as a 2006 American television film distributed by Disney and the first installment in the "High School Musical" trilogy. Upon its release on Jan. 20, 2006, it became the most successful film that Disney Channel Original Movie ever produced, with a television sequel, "High School Musical 2," released in 2007 and the feature film, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," released to theaters in October 2008. It is the first Disney Channel Original Movie to have a theatrical sequel.

With a plot described by the author and numerous critics as a modern adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet," "High School Musical" is a story about two high school juniors from rival cliques jock Troy Bolton (played by Blake Veglia), captain of the basketball team; and intellect Gabriella Montez (Nicole Slaven), a beautiful and shy transfer student who excels in math and science. Together, they try out for the lead parts in their high school musical and as a result divide the school because they have dared to break out of their stereotypes.

Article Photos

Shown above are “High School Musical” performers Storm Haueter, kneeling, and, from left, Taralynn Williams, Blake Veglia and Nicole Slaven. (Submitted photo)

Despite other students' attempts to thwart their dreams, including their closest friends, Troy and Gabriella resist peer pressure and rivalry, inspiring others along the way to avoid the "status quo." High school diva Sharpay Evans (Taralynn Williams) will do anything to sabotage the friendship between Troy and Gabriella and also get a lead in the school musical, assisted by her brother Ryan, hilariously portrayed by SHS senior Storm Haueter.

On New Year's Eve, Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez meet at a New Year's Eve party while both teenagers are at a ski lodge during winter break. At the party, the two are called upon to sing karaoke together. They seem to be attracted to each other and exchange numbers before parting.

After Christmas break, Troy sees Gabriella in his homeroom and she explains that she just moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and transferred to East High School over break. Troy shows Gabriella around the school and they pause in front of the sign-up sheet for the winter musical auditions. This alarms drama club president Sharpay Evans, who assumes that Gabriella is interested in auditioning. Wanting to eliminate competition, Sharpay investigates the new girl and arranges for the scholastic decathlon captain, Taylor McKessie, (Jordan Kringle) to find out about Gabriella's past academic achievements.

Fact Box

WHAT: "High School Musical," presented by the Salem High School musical theater department.

WHERE: Salem?High School auditorium.

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, April 19- 20 at 7:30 p.m. each showing; and on Sunday, April 20 at 2 p.m.

TICKETS: Purchased at the door. There is no reserved seating. Cost is $10 for adults and $7 for students.

During basketball practice, Troy has trouble focusing because his thoughts are on Gabriella and the idea that he might enjoy singing more. Gabriella and Troy both go to the musical auditions where Sharpay and her twin brother Ryan perform "What I've Been Looking For," but both Troy and Gabriella are too shy to audition. When Gabriella finally summons the courage to step forward, Troy offers to sing with her, but Ms. Darbys tells them that they are too late. After Ms. Darbys apparently leaves, Kelsi Nielson, (Chastity Kellogg) the composer of the musical, trips and drops her things. Troy and Gabriella rush to help her, quickly forming personal bonds, and they sing together as Kelsi plays piano. Ms. Darbys, the over-the-top drama teacher and play director played by SHS veteran Emma Wilson, overhears them and gives them a callback audition.

When the callback list is posted, Sharpay is furious to learn that she has competition for the lead in the musical, and the rest of the Wildcats are shocked that Troy and Gabriella have auditioned for a musical. Other students confess their own secret passions and talents and it seems the school's cliques are coming apart at the seams as the kids discover they are made up of more than the labels put on them by their peers.

The full cast includes Katherine Anderson, Tylor Bricker, Sarai Bodine, Samantha Calhoun, Alex Chilton, Tiarra Coleman, Nathan Eisel, Billy Erskine, Destiny French, Issy Greathouse, Tori Harmony, Storm Haueter, Carson Herron, Emma Janofa, Paige Johnson, Chastity Kellogg, Ivy Koons, Jordan Kringle, Becca Linam, Rachel Menegos, James Mills, Allison Moore, Hannah Nash, Ricardo Perez, Sophie Ramsey, Tyler Roth, Nick Rusyn, Nicole Slaven, Sam Standing Soldier, Blake Veglia, Clarissa Wagner, Taralynn Williams, Emma Wilson, Cassie Wood and Brittany Zamarelli.

The music for the show hit home with America's youth when the movie debuted. The sound track was released on Jan. 10, 2006 and debuted at number 133 on the Billboard 200, selling 7,469 copies in its first week. In the album's third week, for the chart dated Feb. 11, 2006, it climbed to number 10, and has since risen to number one on the Billboard 200 twice (on March 1 and March 22) and had shipped 3.8 million copies on Dec. 5, 2006. Out of those copies, more than three million copies have been sold by August 2006; it was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.

"High School Musical" has been adapted for books, reality television and most notably for the stage. Salem audiences will find it refreshing and uplifting to see its young talent showcased in this timeless story of two lovers who must fight to unravel their personal labels in order to be together. The music is positive and upbeat, showcasing contemporary kids and contemporary music and choreography.

"High School Musical" is directed by veteran director John Miller who has been teaming up with musical director and SHS choir instructor Attila Samu over the last five years, building a formidable musical theater department for Salem High School. Carrie Mazzucco is in charge of the choreography. The music is adapted, arranged and produced by Bryan Louiselle and the play is based on a Disney Channel Original Movie written by Peter Barsocchini. The book is by David Simpatico.

Three performances will be presented at the Salem High School auditorium on April 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and April 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door. There is no reserved seating.

- Submitted material



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