Disney's High School Musical 2
by Doug Fordyce’s KIDS ON STAGE

Doug Fordyce’s Kids On Stage did it again. Two years after their award-winning production of Disney’s High School Musical, they’ve moved onto the following summer with their production of High School Musical 2. But for the kids at East High, summer vacation isn’t all fun and games and putting on shows. These high school kids need jobs. And when prima donna Sharpay gets Troy a job at her daddy’s posh country club, and Troy gets his girlfriend Gabriella and all of his other friends jobs there, it’s a mixed blessing. Can the budding relationship of Troy and Gabriella survive Sharpay’s antics???

As usual, Doug Fordyce puts on a quality show with impressive production values (the set in this one includes a Sharpay-inspired tricked-out golf cart). Each character was cast well for their part, and their friendships, alliances, disloyalties, and tantrums (namely Sharpay’s tantrums) were very realistically portrayed. Andy Cleminshaw makes for an ever-optimistic Troy who always thinks that the challenges can be overcome, even pleading everyone, asking if they can’t all get along. “No!” is the amusing rebuke from the rest of the cast. Alyson Snyder is a sweet Gabriella with a great singing voice, which we really see in the song You Are the Music in Me. The school’s playwright Kelsi (Audrey Ballard) starts it beautifully with her gorgeous voice, and as Gabriella joins in their voices blend wonderfully. As the rest of the Wildcats chime in, the song explodes in terrific harmonies.

Then there are the Evans twins. Allie Hoyt is Sharpay, leading her minion Sharpettes in an amusing and well-choreographed Fabulous. Ryan (Stuart Coulston) stole the show with his fabulous dancing, singing, and acting, completely shining as he leads the big Humuhumunukunukuapua to end the first act, and impressing throughout the play with his natural and dynamic dancing moves, not to mention one of the best singing voices I’ve heard for a guy his age.

Scott Burnett is another real standout as a flustered Fulton, the poor man in charge of the keeping the country club running and keeping Sharpay happy, wiping his brow with a handkerchief from the stress, sure to end up with an ulcer as he mostly tries to keep his frustration under control (while uttering his real thoughts about Sharpay under his breath). Elsewhere, Toni Priebe knocks out her vocals as Gabriella’s friend Taylor McKessie, Chad Danforth (Mitch Conrad) shows good dancing prowess, Zeke Baylor (Nicholas Jewell) is totally food obsessed, and the cast of 96 actors featuring a wide age range from 1st to 12th grade, are culled from 36 different schools, and includes many other performers with awesome stage presence and great voices, combining to bring great energy and enthusiasm to the big numbers at the end of each act.

Helping draw out that energy and enthusiasm is some great choreography that works well for the huge number of cast members and their wide range of ages. The same choreographer for Kids On Stage’s High School Musical 1. Jenna Thomas, now also a Super Bowl-performing cheerleader with the Arizona Cardinals, put together dances that looked natural and came through with flying colors. As they were two years ago, those dancers were again costumed extremely well, capturing the personalities of all the characters, especially Sharpay’s and Ryan’s various colorful outfits that included some pink-and-white camouflage as they hilariously spied on Troy and Gabriella to try to stop them from kissing. But were they successful? It might depend on the well-staged and well-lit Bet On It scene as Troy struggles with the voices in his head, surrounded by the cast, as he decides who he wants to be.

Performed March 6 - 8, 2009

Roshelle Hall

National Youth Theatre
~ Cast ~

Troy Bolton: Andy Cleminshaw
Chad Danforth: Mitch Conrad
Zeke Baylor: Nicholas Jewell
Jack Scott: Patrick Hill
Gabriella Montez: Alyson Snyder
Taylor McKessie: Toni Priebe
Martha Cox: Abby Rzepka
Kelsi Neilson: Audrey Ballard
Sharpay Evans: Allie Hoyt
Ryan Evans: Stuart Coulston
Fulton: Scott Burnett
Blossom: Sammie Randall
Violet: Bethany Collins
Peaches: Lydia Ford

Freshmen and Golf Class:
Elizabeth Ashmead
Karly Cantrell
Kendall Cantrell
Jenna Gathright
Ruby Johnson
Emma Niebrzydoski
Morgan Pope
Laura Tedesco
Tony Tedesco

Bridget Cook
Erica Levy
Morgan Myers
Natalie Rush
Hannah Wallsten
Jackie Zvonar

Kitchen Kids and Baseball Fans:
Zoe Burkett
Natalie Dent
Meg Farrington
Cam Haynes
Emma Meyer
Samantha Pankratz
Kylie Retterbush
Sky Stockton
Izza Williams

Makeover Artists and Lava Springs Baseball Team:
Savannah Balute
Hannah Bredeweg
Kylee Burger
Claire Dine
Marissa Dunn
Emily Hodge
Erika James
Jae Mackie
Hailey Malone
Brianna Nichols
Alaina Riedel
Aubrey Risetter
Natalie Rush
Hannah Strunk
Kerstetn Strunk

Lava Springs Pool Boys:
Brendan Ballard
Joshua Clark
Gavin Clarke
Brendant Dent
Andy Hodge
Chase Knuth
Bryan Marcuzzi
Tait Martinez
Justin Marutz
Daniel Michaels
Nicky Orlando
Craig Wells

Pool Brats and Humu Kids:
Breanne Blackwell
Seth Collins
Zoe Downey
Sarah Green
Farrah McNeil
Lillie Orlando
Samantha Pankratz
Reagan Remus
Cailey Rooker
Emily Waning

Hannah Davis
Roxie Elliott
Grace Haase
Chelsea Hamm
Anna Haynes
Mallory Mishler
Morgan Myers
Courtney Rooker
Maddie Schrock
Ellen Schrock
Carmen Smith
Katelyn Tillstrom
Hannah Wallsten
Jackie Zvonar

Abby Austin
Morgan Brunsting
Bridget Cook
Becky Driscoll
Lindsay Essig
Tabitha Hoskins
Makenna Kelley
Erica Levy
Shanna Mais
Hannah Miller
Paige Reed
Heather Roney
Monika Spear
Jennabeth Thomas

Rowena Waggenheim: Hannah Davis
Billy Flatley: Gavin Clarke
Rosette Shimshank: Erika James
Theresa Templeton: Erica Levy
Janey Fire: Aubrey Risetter

Director: Doug Fordyce
Assistant Director: Jeri Fordyce
Choreographer: Jenna Thomas
Assistant Choreographer: Lea Thomas
Set Design: Doug Fordyce
Costume Coordinator: Donna Vavra-Musser


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