High school is a place of friendship, romance, drama, sports, science, and flash mobs — it least, that’s what kids are led to believe upon watching Disney’s “High School Musical.”
As the most successful Disney Channel Original Movies, the “High School Musical” franchise is a staple of most of today’s high schoolers’ childhoods.
Although actual high school turned out to be a little less exciting without the songs and dance breaks, students were able to relive this theatrical version of school this spring with Bear Creek Theatre department’s highly requested stage adaptation of Disney’s “High School Musical,” directed by Cassie Champeau, choreographed by Ms. Nicole and musically directed by Catherine Nash.
The movie’s popularity fueled the hype for Bear Creek’s performance as many students were excited to hear some of their favorite songs from childhood.
The drama department succeeded in wowing the audience with a high energy performance that rarely stalled in pace.
The majority of the musical was performed with a backtrack, with the exception of a few songs played on the piano by the character Kelsi Nielson. It was impressive to hear live music after senior Ashley Ricafrente learned how to play “What I’ve Been Looking For,” “Start of Something New” and “Breaking Free” on the piano for her role in the show.
For most of the show, the soundtrack worked very well, but in the opening number, the background music included recorded dialogue that the students spoke over, which left the audience confused.
Each set change was fluid and accompanied by junior Ryan Duff as Jack Scott on East High School’s morning announcements. Duff’s performance kept the audience entertained in between scenes, positioning him as a definite crowd-favorite character.
At times, it was hard to hear the singing when the microphones would cut in and out. It was also hard to hear some of the female singers when lyrics were sung in head voice — when notes are sung in higher register outside of the normal singing range — which was disappointing.
Although some songs were hard to hear, the group numbers were loud and impressive.
Some of my favorite songs from the show were “Getcha Head in the Game” and “We’re All in This Together” since I could hear everything being sung and the dances were fun and energetic. “When There Was Me and You” was my favorite number in the whole show as Gabriella and Troy’s voices complemented each other well and emotional surprises accompanied flashbacks of the characters Ms. Darbus and Coach Bolton.
Ryan, played by senior Giancarlo Lizarraga, and Sharpay, played by senior Ashley Pina, stole the show as complete triple threats. The duo radiate with energy as they sing, dance and dominate the stage. On seperate nights, Ryan is played by sophomore Virginia Chase-Caporusso and Sharpay is played by senior Jamie Dennis.
Other characters such as Ms. Darbus, played by junior Miaa Torres, and Kelsi, played by senior Ashley Ricafrente gave very likeable and hilarious performances. Torres coupled each of her lines with dramatic gestures and poses and Ricafrente won the audience over with her innocence and enthusiasm as Sharpay and Ryan pushed her around.
Although I feel the play will receive more appreciation from the younger audience members, adults can still enjoy the cheesy, yet fun, story and musical numbers.