Disney's High School Musical
by Bradshaw Mountain High School

Brian DeBlois, Talia Doerksen, Sabrina Astle The Disney Channel scored a hit with their movie High School Musical and it’s popular soundtrack, and high school stages around the country are keeping it rolling. This updated Grease-like tale is about a boy and girl from different cliques who click, but their respective friends and the school’s social norms may end their Start of Something New before it’s hardly begun. Will auditions for the upcoming high school musical provide them with an unlikely second chance?

Director Jantina Russell and her cast at Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley, Arizona were the latest to take on this show, and they portrayed a more serious and authentic high school environment rather than the usual over-the-top comedy. They are backed up by an especially impressive school orchestra that nails the musical score. And that music backs up a couple of pretty good singers in the lead roles, with Sabrina Astle as the high school’s new “brainiac” student Gabriella and Brian DeBlois giving a good performance as the school’s unassuming star basketball player Troy Bolton.

Although almost everyone wants to break the two up, the most determined is Sharpay Evans. Not only is she the school diva who dominates the theatre scene and doesn’t want other potential rivals moving in, but she also has a thing for Troy. Katie Aaron Freedman and Katie Spears Spears is a toned-down, believable Sharpay with an enormous selfish streak. Jeremy Rohrbough is her slightly younger twin brother Ryan who plays opposite her in all the school plays. Usually Sharpay’s lap dog, Jeremy plays Ryan as not at all dominated by his older sister, stepping on her toes throughout, irritated by her attitude.

Amanda Altiveros shows strong talent as a nicely underplayed Taylor McKessie, the leader of the brainiacs whose desire to win with the mind temporarily overrides her heart. Other standouts include Allison Pregler as a devoted and considerate drama teacher, Talia Doerksen as the shy and nerdy playwright, and Max Kurtz as the school’s “velvet fog” DJ Jack Scott.

The sound needed some tweaking, as a lot of the individual lines by ensemble members couldn’t be heard, but overall the production ran smoothly with a cast that comes on strong for some memorable auditions for the high school musical as well as the show’s two big ensemble numbers Stick to the Status Quo and the finale We’re All in This Together.

Performed April 26-28, 2007

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

James Gill and Allison Pregler~ The Jocks ~
Troy Bolton: Brian DeBlois
Chad Danforth: Phillip Straner
Zeke Baylor: Aaron Freedman
Jason: Jason Strunk
Jock #1: Derek Phillip
Jock #2: Andrew William

~ Cheerleaders ~
Samantha Monet
Devin Jones
Candace Cain
Justine Taylor

~ Skater Dudes ~
Ripper: Cristina Fuentes
Mongo: Katt Gay
Slasher: Courtney Perry

~ Brainiacs ~
Gabriella Montez: Sabrina Astle
Taylor McKessie: Amanda Altiveros
Martha Cox: Melissa Montgomery
Kratnoff: Neal Mitchell
Sophia Driscoll: Amanda Rogers
Helen Chesney: Nathalie Saenz
Roberta Wood: Andrea Felipe

~ Thespians ~
Sharpay Evans: Katie Spears
Ryan Evans: Jeremy Rohrbough
Susan: Megan Grinter
Cathy: Colleen McDowell
Alan: Andrew Williams
Cyndra: Rebecca Rosenberg
Fran: Renee LeQuesne
Myrtle: Shea Dalpiaz
Roxy: LaToya Muse
Minnie: Danica Jeffries
Kelsi Nelson: Talia Doerksen
Jack Scott: Max Kurtz

~ The Adults ~
Ms. Darbus: Allison Pregler
Coach Bolton: James Gill

Director: Jantina Russell
Music Director: Katie Reuter
Orchestra Director: Amie Cobb
Choreographers: Aaron Burton and Corey Noeldner
Stage Manager: Erin Casperson


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