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Disney's High School Musical!
a Musical

COMPANY : Atlanta Professional Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Brook Run Theatre
ID# 2706

SHOWING : March 12, 2008 - March 22, 2008



Disney Channel's smash hit musical comes to life on your stage! On the front steps of East High, it’s the first day after winter break (Wildcat Cheer). The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes find their cliques, recount their vacations, and look forward to the new year (Start of Something New). In Ms. Darbus’s homeroom, basketball team captain Troy discovers that Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. When he calls her, the eccentric drama teacher quickly confiscates all cell phones and assigns detention. Between classes, Gabriella and Troy look at the audition sign-up for the school musical, but the drama diva Sharpay discourages them. At basketball practice, Troy tries to shake his desire to sing at the urging of his best friend Chad (Get'cha Head in the Game). Taylor, the science club president, discovers Gabriella’s intelligence and encourages her to join the upcoming science decathlon. While the students learn how to “act” at detention, Troy’s dad, Coach Bolton, faces off with Ms. Darbus – his star players can’t miss practice for Friday’s championship game! The next day, hopeful Thespians strut their stuff for Ms. Darbus (Auditions), but they’re no match for Sharpay and her twin brother Ryan (What I’ve Been Looking For). Troy and Gabriella arrive too late to audition, but Kelsi, the show's composer, plays the song her way and encourages them to sing (What I’ve Been Looking For – Reprise). Ms. Darbus overhears and gives them a callback. News spreads fast (Cellular Fusion), Sharpay is furious, and some students try to break out of their cliques during lunch (Stick to the Status Quo). Troy and Gabriella escape to the rooftop garden and share a little bit about their real selves (I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You). The Jocks and Brainiacs devise a plan to trick Troy and Gabriella into forgetting about the musical and committing to their respective competitions (Counting on You). Thinking each one has betrayed the other, Gabriella and Troy are crushed (When There Was Me and You). Against Ryan’s advice, Sharpay convinces Ms. Darbus to move the callbacks to conflict with the science decathlon and championship game. Chad and Taylor put their heads together to make things right again (We’re All in This Together). While the Jocks and Brainiacs compete, Sharpay and Ryan pull off a polished callback performance (Bop to the Top). When Taylor’s laptop shuts down the electricity, Troy and Gabriella rush to the theater, but are too late. However, when the East High students arrive to rally behind them, Ms. Darbus relents, and they sing their way into the lead roles (Breaking Free). Back at the gym, the Wildcats win the game and the whole school comes together as winners (We’re All in This Together – Reprise).

Musical Director Jason Meeks
Director/Choreographer Katie Rouse
Set Designer Nicholas Morrett
Gabriella Montez Mary Raines Battle
Cast Chelsea Belcastro
Martha Cox Bonnie Chambless
Swing Andy Danh
Kelsi Neilson Kelli Hall
Ms. Darbus Kay Hall
Chad Danforth Jameel Howard
Cast Tyler Kanady
Sharpay Evans Ally Maher
Ryan Evans Johnathan Maloney
Troy Bolton Justin McGough
Zeke Baylor Nicholas Morrett
Cast Weston Mosher
Cast Melanie Paulos
Cast Anna Ward
Production Manager Andy Danh
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Just as I expected
by Richard Long
Friday, March 21, 2008
I will never get back the time that I put into driving to see this performance. It turned out to be exactly what I thought it would be, a complete waste of money and of my life. I don't fault the cast nor the direction by any means. They did the best they could. I fault the people that wrote this show. It is, by far, the most pathetic script and music I've heard in a long time. I mean, did you see the show description written above? They actually had to give you the entire plot in the description before you go see it. Then, when I arrive, I feel like I've had a prostate exam. I actually walked funny leaving the place and felt disgusted that I wasn't kissed in the end. Why would any teenager want to waste their time doing this kind of fecal matter? It degrades the performer and brings their intelligence into question. I mean, can you do something that actually shows some level of quality? I would rather watch a stage performance of the Teletubbies than to be put through this again or listen to Annie sing "Tomorrow" over and over again for two hours straight. Then, let's not be completely satisfied that it's over, because guess what? HERE COMES DISNEY HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL PART 2!!!! It's going to be just as violating as the first as we watch a bunch of retarded teenagers dance around stage thinking they're going to be famous over this "blockbuster" performance. Oh the humanity.... [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
High School Musical Two Thumbs Up!
by Miss Rose Lee
Friday, March 21, 2008
Just this past evening, my husband, granddaughter and I attended a performance of Disney's High School Musical put on by a new theater company, Atlanta Professional Theatre. I had never heard of them before but I was very familiar with some of the people in the cast since I had seen them in some past shows and I was thoroughly impressed with this company. I had never seen the show on stage but have seen the movie several times with my grandchildren and definitely prefer the live stage show.

The first thing I would like to start off with is in response to what some of the other reviewers have written. I do agree with the theater being a “bad” space acoustically, But I think that since it was such an old theater, some remodeling will help those problems in the future. I don't think it affected the performers’ performance at all during the show or what the company did with the theater to jazz it up. Actually it set the mood for the show because it does look like an old high school auditorium.

The creative team did an exceptional job. The choreography was very innovative and fun to watch. The set was very well made and visually stimulating. Costumes were great but what really looked nice were the basketball and cheerleader uniforms. Those were fantastic! Lighting was great and sound was good from what we could hear.

The Cast really made this show what it was. We actually saw the understudy for Gabriella, Chelsea Belcastro and she was very good. A few sharp pitches now and then but very well done. And also the Troy was great! I think Justin McGough was much better than Zac Efron. His choices for his vocal runs were pitch perfect! The chemistry between Ryan and Sharpay, Jonathan Maloney and Ally Maher, was great! I wondered if they had it right off the bat in rehearsals or not. The only complaint was I wish I could have heard Ally much more since her voice was beautiful. Maybe a microphone issue? Chad and Taylor were good. They didn’t really stand out to me but they were not forgotten. I will disagree with another comment posted on here that Melanie was bland. Personally, I thought she fit the role well and loved her solo lines. She really put her own flare to it. Nicholas Morrett as Zeke was hilarious! I have seen him in past shows and he gets better and better. Great comic timing and again amazing voice! Martha Cox was also a show stealer! Bonnie Chambless was hysterical! When she popped out of the wall in that one scene, my granddaughter almost fell out of her chair she was laughing so hard. Great job! Kelli Hall as Kelsi was an interesting choice. Ironically, she looked just like the girl from the movie! Chris Hall did a good job as Coach Bolton and Kay Hall also was very funny as Mrs. Darbus. I really didn’t mind her accent at all. I think it added something different to the show. The rest of the ensemble was a little bit of a let down. I don’t feel that they were as strong as the leads and I wish they would have been more energetic, especially in the last 15 minutes of the show. But none the less, they were decent. Some of them did stand out: The Crab and Ripper (Tyler Kanady), the earthworm, soloists in the audition scene and the cheerleaders. For those of you who have seen the show, you will understand who I mean. I don’t remember their names. Sorry but great job to whoever you are!

Overall I feel that this show was a job well done! It seemed to be a huge task for this company to take on and I feel that for this show being one of their first ones, they did a exceptional job! I would recommend this company and would love to see what they put on in the future! Their upcoming season looks fantastic! My granddaughter gave this show two thumbs up so in my eyes, it was a hit!!
Hello APT!
by zwzg17
Friday, March 14, 2008
*Disclaimer* There is perhaps a bias on my part in this review because I have been assisting this new company through their first two shows. I'll try to be as objective as possible, but this review serves as commentary about the show and about this new company.

It's a strange and exciting time when a new theatre company makes its first mark in a somewhat small and competitive market. Having been around the partners of this company and the cast of their show, I can say that Atlanta Professional Theatre has something to offer. Disney's High School Musical! is no exception to that statement. After talking to the partners to understand their vision, I decided to sign on and do something to help get them on their feet. I think that they are doing a great thing by trying to bring family oriented entertainment to our theatrical community as well as trying to express themselves artistically. When you see this show, you'll notice that their upcoming season has a nice balance between family fun AND artistic merit. It's an exciting time for any theatre lover.

I've never been a fan of High School Musical. In fact, I'm not necessarily a fan of the corporate musical. My perception has since changed about High School Musical because of how the stage production is written versus the movie AND by this amazing cast. As you can see, there is a combination of more "seasoned" Atlanta professionals along with some debuts rounded out with some younger actors who act simply because they love to do so. It should be noted that APT is also in the midst of starting a Children's Theatre and/or Youth Program. It's very admirable to see a company giving young people an opportunity to learn and be nurtured in the arts.

Brook Run is a different space. It may not have the pizzazz of the better funded theaters or the intimacy of some of Atlanta's more popular spaces, but it has character and potential. If the city or county finally decides to make APT the house company, I'm know they will transform this vintage space into a viable asset to Atlanta. Having said that, Brook Run did give High School Musical some challenges. The natural acoustics in the space gave APT some challenges. I felt that they were able to negotiate through most of the problems. Sound masking will help out some of those problems in the future.

From a visual perspective, the set is gorgeous and vibrant. Costumes were also done very well. Overall, the show was easy on the eyes. Director/Choreographer Katie Rouse also does an great job of giving the audience lovely pictures to look at on stage. Translating a film onto the stage is a tough task, and I applaud Katie for bringing us right to East High. To borrow a word that I overheard earlier, I thought that the "industrial" look was very appropriate. High School Musical is really a glorified rock concert with a plot. Throw in the screaming 13 year old girls, and you'd never know that you weren't at a Justin Timberlake concert with the lighting rig and speakers hanging everywhere.

In regards to the show itself, Justin McGough and Mary Raines Battle as Troy and Gabriella were outstanding. They had such great chemistry on the stage. Nevermind the age difference. I never saw that at all watching them. I saw two kids from different sides of the tracks trying to make it happen. There were some very beautiful moments especially during their duets. Speaking of chemistry, Johnathan Maloney and Ally Maher were hilarious as the Ryan twins. I felt that they played off of each other very well on more than a few occasions in which I couldn't stop laughing. Bonnie Chambless and Nicholar Morrett were also other notables. They were a breath of fresh air, and I laughed every time they opened their mouths.

A cast is as strong as its Ensemble, and this one doesn't disappoint. Given the varying levels of talent and experience within the Ensemble, I was impressed. In fact, it was actually some of the younger and/or inexperienced actors that brought the energy. I HAVE to take the time to say that the Auditions number in the show was hilarious. Every single soloist from the ensemble really stepped into their spotlight and gave the over-the-top performance that was needed. The favorite number for me was the Act I closer, Stick to the Status Quo. It was visually stunning to watch, hilarious, and booming with energy at certain points.

All in all, APT gives you exactly what you expect from High School Musical. It's a show that's in your face filled with many great laughs, some tender yet cheesy moments, and good ole fashioned Disney fun. Though some may consider the ticket price a bit much, I can say that you will get your money's worth when you see this show. APT may be a new company, but I have a feeling about them. "Something's coming...It's right outside the door, around the corner. But
it's comin'!"

by thisisme25
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I did actually enjoy this production. There were a few things that took the show down two numbers, though. I will list them. The down points of the show were:

1. Energy. From the beginning, the show didn't take me anywhere. When the entire cast is bursting with energy the audience can feel it, too. That was one of the big ones.

2. The theater. From looking in, it looked nice. But when the show started, you started to notice that the acoustics were absolutely horrible. You'd think for Atlanta "Professional" Theater, you'd get a better venue regarding sound.

3. Choreography. I was especially disappointed in "Getcha Head in the Game" of all the songs. Yes, I know it is extremely difficult to keep all the balls bouncing at the same time, but "Step, pause pause, step, turn, bounce, pause pause, bounce" (You get the point) is not going to cut it. "Stick to the Status Quo" was one the better numbers, though.

4. Mrs. Darbus. I am sorry for this one, but I have to mention this. I don't really blame this on the actress, but on the director. The director should've worked harder on removing the southern dialect. It was noticed and it was laughable.

These were the main disappointments. But here's the good:

1. Troy. He had one of the best singing voices I've head in a long time, at least in Georgia. Great control and mixing.

2. Gabriella. Also great voice. For a sixteen year old, she really sold her part. Very Impressed.

3. Singing in general. The sounds I did hear (Since the bad acoustics) sounded very good. Great ensemble numbers, singing anyway. Couldn't understand all of the lyrics, but it sounded good.

Overall, it was a good show. I wouldn't pay a 30 dollar ticket again, but it was good. I would expect this from any community playhouse. Not as professional as it seems to be.

A Very Good Show
by CJTheater
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Last night, I went to see Atlanta Professional Theatre's production of High School Musical. This is a great show and the talent is outstanding. Troy had a phenomenal voice (much better than Zac Efron). Gabriella was also very good. She had a great voice, and played the part well. I thought it was funny that in real life, the man playing Troy was 25, and the girl playing Gabriella was 16. It was an awkward kiss for them! Sharpay was good, but not outstanding. Ryan was also very good, and had exceptional comedic timing. He acted way too gay though. Ryan is not supposed to be gay, he's just a theater geek! Mrs. Darbus (Kay Hall) was the downside of the production...She had a southern accent, and she was very awkward to watch. She was horrible.... Kelsi did a fine job. Chad was good. Zeke was very very good!! He was a highlight of the show. He was a great dancer, he was very funny, and he had a great singing voice. I didn't pay attention to the man playing Coach Bolton...on another note, the energy of act 1 was EXTREMELY low! The opening number was weak, and the cast members looked uncomfortable. The theater was horrible. The Acoustics were very bad and I could only understand about half of the words. Another great moment of the show was Martha Cox. She was great! And the moment where she popped out of the side of the wall was hysterical! that was very creative!

Singing- 9/10
Dancing- 6/10 (I was expecting much more)
Set- 7/10 (the set was the same throughout the entire show, but it was a good set)
Lighting- 7/10
Costumes- 9/10

I Would definitely recommend this show to any family wanting to see the stage production of HSM!
I thoroughly enjoyed the show! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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