April 23, 2011 7:40:00 PM
From blockbuster movie to the Heritage Academy stage, "High School Musical" adds a contemporary sheen and story to classic musicals in the tradition of "Grease" and "West Side Story."
On April 29 and 30, and May 1, a Heritage cast numbering near 100 students in kindergarten through 12th grade will tell the story of shy "Gabriella," portrayed by Claire Wiygul, and school jock "Troy," played by Caleb Westmoreland, as both friends and rivals try to discourage the relationship -- and their new interest in singing.
Troy dreams of leading his basketball team to victory in the impending championship game, but auditions for the school musical, competition in the Science Decathlon, and the play-off game all end up taking place on the same day. The way various school cliques resolve their conflict reveals a lesson in acceptance for everybody involved.
"Taking a part in the cast or crew of a production allows students to showcase their talents in several areas," said director Marilyn Fields. "These students are also honor students, dance team members or cheerleaders, athletes and volunteers in our community."
Heritage senior McKenzie Jones, who is participating in her third school production, said, "I just love being with all the people who are in the show and who help with it. We have so much fun and have a chance to get to know each other better."
Fields added, "Working toward a common goal of a successful show brings us all together as members of our school family."
Times and tickets
Performances will be at 7 p.m. in the Student Activity Building at 625 Magnolia Lane in Columbus Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, and also at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1. Ticket prices, which are set by Music Theatre International, are $10 for adults and $8 for students.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.