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Huntley students bring “High School Musical” to life

The cast warms up in the choir room before taking the stage at their Sunday performance.
The cast warms up in the choir room before taking the stage at their Sunday performance.
The cast warms up in the choir room before taking the stage at their Sunday performance.

This weekend, Huntley students wrapped up performances of the 2013 freshmen-sophomore musical, “High School Musical,” which was directed by choir teacher Nancy Cross and theatre teacher Tom George.

Tryouts for “High School Musical” took place at the end of last school year, and students have been rehearsing for the musical, which is a stage adaptation of the 2006 Disney hit, since early August. The show is a production that many Huntley students are familiar with, as the “High School Musical” trilogy includes some of Disney Channel’s most successful original movies.

“We picked [this show] because it fit the students that we could see were coming along,” said Cross.

Cast members included sophomore Matt Klein and freshman Austin Krause as Troy Bolton, sophomores Alexis Mete and Ashlyn Ober as Gabriella Montez, sophomores Lexie Ziolkowski and Alexa LaFaire as Sharpay Evans, and freshman Joshua Szeszol and sophomore Connor Rooney as Ryan Evans.

The musical follows much of the same plot that the film did, with juniors Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton attempting to balance their loves for mathematics and basketball (respectively) with their passions for singing and acting, all while being sabotaged by commanding theater queen Sharpay Evans and her brother, Ryan.

Costumes for the production were authentic to the film, with rented Wildcats basketball and cheerleading uniforms. Additionally, the set included various Wildcat banners and posters to proclaim the school spirit of East High, which the characters of the play attend.

According to Cross, some challenges that the cast had to face were the same obstacles that crop up every year, including adjusting to changes, like a new PAC manager.

“Obviously, it’s a different group of students in a different show,” said Cross, “and the students are all wonderful.”

The cast put on four separate performances of the musical, in addition to in-school performances for elementary school students taking field trips to see the production. According to Cross, the audiences seemed to be very pleased with the cast’s final result.

The next school production will be the HHS all-school play, “Cinderella,” which will take place Nov. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the PAC.

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