Unless you've been comatose for the past four years, you've probably heard of Disney's "High School Musical," the popular television movie that spawned, among other things, a high school musical.
Next weekend, the Mount Pleasant High School theater department will present its version of "High School Musical." Performances will be at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. All seats are $5.
For years, Brooklyn Riley said, she has been "hounding" theater director Antonio Villar to do this show. She's a huge fan and is thrilled to play Gabriella, the heroine.
In the past, Brooklyn has often been cast as the "mean girl" in school productions. She thinks it's fitting that she gets to play Gabriella, since she's planning to marry Zac Efron, who played the male lead in the Disney movie.
Chris Villar plays Troy, the Zac Efron role, in Mount Pleasant's production. Though he wasn't a big fan of the movie, he's been pleasantly surprised at how good the music in the show is. In some ways, Chris said, it feels natural for him to play Troy: In the play, Troy's father coaches Troy's basketball team; in real life, Chris's father is the play's director.
Chelsea Hammill is the antagonist Sharpay, president of the Drama Club, who tries to exclude Gabriella and Troy from the musical. Chelsea said she is usually cast as "the character" - the role that is quirky, nerdy or just plain weird - but this is her first opportunity to play the evil one. It's not too hard for her to play bratty and bossy, she said; she has a younger brother.
She's happy that Antonio Villar chose "High School Musical," because it has lots of roles for everyone. But it's challenging to live up to the standard set by the movie.
All three of these students are seniors, and all three agree that doing "High School Musical" is a great way to end their time in the Mount Pleasant Theater Department. Chris Villar said it will be a culmination of everything they've learned about theater.
Brooklyn is thrilled because she loves the show and because it's modern. She thinks familiarity will appeal to the audience and hopes everyone will want to sing and dance along with the cast.
The messages of "High School Musical" are about being true to yourself, resisting peer pressure and working together.
Hammill said those themes are all true of the school's theater department. She loves how theater provides a place for all kinds of students to participate, and that everyone gets along and works together. As she put it, "There's no drama in the drama department."
"High School Musical" should be a great evening of entertainment. Don't miss it.