High School Musical Takes NDA Stage January 26

Ella+Hunt%2C+who+plays+Gabriella+Montez%2C+and+Ben+Richards%2C+who+plays+Troy+Bolton%2C+preview+the+musical+at+Friday%27s+pep+rally.

Ella Hunt, who plays Gabriella Montez, and Ben Richards, who plays Troy Bolton, preview the musical at Friday’s pep rally.

Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Tickets are now available online for High School Musical on Stage, NDA’s musical for the 2016-2017 academic year, which opens Thursday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available for purchase online at showtix4u.com and will be sold at the atrium desk beginning on Monday, January 16. Showtimes after opening night include Friday and Saturday nights, January 27 and 28, also at 7:30, and a matinee show Sunday, January 29, at 2 p.m.

Adult tickets are $14 and tickets for students and children are $8.

Leads Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton will be played by seniors Ella Hunt and Ben Richards. An additional 51 students comprise the talented cast, as well as numerous crew members helping the show to run smoothly.

The show will be co-directed by Mrs. Andrea Gilson, English and Public Performance teacher, and Mrs. Chris Salerno, choir director. This year, science teacher Mrs. Kim Flinchum will take on the role of choreographer, her first time to choreograph a show.

Gilson directed NDA’s play Ashland Falls last year, but this is her first foray into directing an NDA musical. 

“The musical has been different to direct than plays because it involves managing so many elements all at once,” said Gilson. “It is very stressful and challenging to coordinate everything, but oddly I also love the planning.”

Gilson added that the experience has been positive as the cast has worked together “beautifully.”

“The show is fun to watch and to be a part of. The songs along with the band and lights will make the audience feel like they are at a concert,” said Gilson.

The musical is based on the Disney Channel favorite and written by Peter Barsocchini. The High School Musical film came out on Disney Channel in 2006 and quickly became a phenomena that spiralled into a successful trilogy.

“In this contemporary musical comedy, a popular high school basketball star and a shy, academically gifted newcomer discover they share a secret passion for singing. When they sign up together to audition for the lead roles in the school musical, it threatens East High’s rigid social order and sends their peers into an uproar,” hinted Disney.com.

“It is an uplifting show, and I think the audience will both feel energized and nostalgic after hearing some of the songs from the movie,” commented Gilson.

Many members of the cast have expressed their excitement for the show opening, especially as the movie is such a fan favorite.

“This show is definitely interesting because it’s a part of our generation’s childhood, and now we’re putting that in the spotlight,” said junior Lilly Brada, who plays an East High cheerleader.

Senior Jack Mickelson, who will be playing Coach Bolton on stage, also recognizes the draw of High School Musical. “I was a big fan of the movie when it came out. I think that the audiences will appreciate that we decided to do the musical rendition of such a classic movie, especially one that was such a big part of some people’s childhoods,” he said.

Junior Danielle Lippert is one NDA student particularly excited to see the show. “I’ve loved High School Musical since I was six, so I was super excited to see that my school is doing it, and that I’ll be able to see it live.”

Brada recognizes that nostalgia will not be the only thing drawing an audience to the Guyon Auditorium. “This year we have a new director [Gilson] and choreographer [Flinchum], so it’ll be great for everyone to see how the show has changed from the previous years and, hopefully, improved.”

“I think that the cast has a lot of talent,” said Mickelson. “And we have the ability to make it a really great show.”

“I would love every student at NDA to come see this show,” Gilson remarked. “We have been working so hard on this production, and I would love everyone to come support the cast, band and crew.”