Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
High School Musical
Disney's degreased Grease boasts the nicest high school on the planet where, if people will just think outside the box a tad, everyone will come together and life will assume sitcom buoyancy. Troy's a basketball star; Gabriella's so smart, she must have an "extra brain." They fall in "like" with each other — this is Disney after all, so everything happens from the nose up — and with singing in the annual musical. But dare they do a show in the face of peer pressure? YES! — and will inspire others to reject the status quo and follow their bliss. Starlight's guest artistic director Carlos Mendoza has worked wonders before (twice winning Craig Noel Awards for musical direction) and has done it again, with probably the youngest cast ever at the Balboa Park amphitheater. It helps to have Arianna Afsar and Donovan Hurst in the leads, their well-matched voices especially effective in duets. Megan Martin (Sharpay, a wicked witch redeemed), Christopher Blake Withall (her snide henchperson, Ryan), and Leigh Scarritt (gleefully over-the-top as the drama teacher) head a game supporting cast so large that Starlight's legendary Red Box was nowhere in sight. Troy Magino's smart choreography often puts the whole stage in motion.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, June 21, 2009
- Sundays, 8pm
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm