ACT gets top marks at High School

Disney’s “High School Musical” opened two weeks ago to rousing applause.  People were blown away by the energy of the cast, by the choreography and the singing, and obviously by the big finale of the show.  The show has now eclipsed ticket sales for the last few September/October shows, and is looking to be one of the highest selling September/October shows of all time for the company.  Also taking into account the fact that two years ago, the committee were seriously contemplating pulling the second senior show from the calendar due to poor audience numbers, this makes High School Musical a massive boost for the company, as well as to its members.

The decision was made early to choose a show that would suit our highest audience demographic…the youth.  The annual Panto and the ACTion end of year musical always attract sellout audiences, so we wanted to do a show for the people that do come, not for the people we hope will come.  Though a show like “High School Musical” doesn’t just entertain the kids in the audience.  James Harley, who plays the role of Ryan Evans, mentions that “…it surprises me how entertaining the show is for adults. High School Musical is a fun, uplifting, high energy show that is guaranteed to have you tapping your feet and leaving with a smile on your face!”  No one is immune to the toe tapping, in-your-seat dancing that James talks about.  “I remember in one of the performances in the opening weekend there was a little girl in white dancing and singing along in her seat up the back” recalls Carlin Grant, who plays Troy Bolton.

“High School Musical” has been described by some as a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, even a Disney-fied version of Grease.  “The show surrounds the unlikely couple Troy and Gabriella who are from different cliques at school, Troy being the popular basketball Jock and Gabriella the shy and gorgeous math wiz” explains Carlin.  “While the two leads are torn between the choice of either being together and auditioning for the musical or leading their teams to victory, they are manipulated by their friends and forced to sacrifice their own happiness for the ‘greater good’. Nothing can keep them apart though, and like any Disney movie, there is a happy ending which breaks into song.”

High School Musical

High School Musical

The Disney influence was important from the start of rehearsals, and Director Mark Monroe wanted to keep that Disney innocence about the show.  Kiane O’Farrel, who plays the role of Sharpay Evans, the resident drama queen and the closest thing you will get to a villain, explained that she “…used to dream of being Ariel from the ‘Little Mermaid’ and singing the songs over and over until my family went insane! I was such a fan that we had a dress up day at school and I went as a mermaid.”  It’s that type of mixture of excitement and craziness from all the cast that entertains the crowd every performance, and is what has turned a normal Disney musical into such a spectacular event at Altona.  “When Altona announced they were putting on High School Musical, straight way I knew I wanted to be in it” says Kiane.  “The energy the movie contains and the joy it gives all the kids that watch it, I knew the stage show would be just as fantastic.”

Seeing a show like this brings back all sorts of Disney memories, from possibly your first cinema experience, to sitting at home on Sunday night watching “The Wonderful World of Disney”, to wanting to grow up and being a princess like Cinderella, or Belle, or Snow white, or wanting to grow up and be like Ursula, or Hades, or Hook, Disney has a place in all of our pasts. “As a kid I loved the Lion King and probably contained my fondest Disney moment and Disney heartbreak” recalls Carlin.  “I think the song Hukuna Matata with Simba, Timone and Pumba walking across the log with the moon in the background was my fondest Disney moment. When Mufasa is dropped into the stampede in the film though, my heart would break!”  James has a slightly different standout Disney memory. “Going to Disneyland Paris on a first date and sneaking a kiss in fantasy land…. It was just perfect.”  What can you say…Disney has that magical effect on everyone and everything we do.

With only one weekend left of performances, don’t miss out on this great show.  Zac Efron may not be in the country anymore, but we do have our own Troy Bolton for one more week. “I just hope that I do as well out of the show as he did in the movie and have Hollywood calling me” laughs Carlin, about being compared to his Hollywood counterpart.  “As long as the audience is having as much fun watching the show as we all have when we are performing it, then we are all really satisfied with what we have accomplished.”

Tickets are still available, and can be booked either online, or over the phone on 0425705550.

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