Saturday, July 21, 2007

Another Ten Bop to the Top in "DHSM"

My daughter and I just returned from seeing SPARC’s summer production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Firehouse Theatre. A large group from Disney’s High School Musical went to today’s matinee and had a terrific time. SPARC has pulled together a GREAT cast—9 impressive actors with exceptional talent! Five are VCU students, two are current or recent students at Meadowbrook H S, and two are adults. These great actors deserve their own blog post, and I’ll try to write one in the next few days.

In this entry, let me continue recognizing the exceptional high school students who sing and dance their hearts out in Disney’s High School Musical.

Alex Godschalk just graduated from Steward, so in DHSM he has the home court advantage. He makes the most of it. Alex plays one of the "brainiacs," and he has a great moment when the character of Chad congratulates him with a high five, compelling Alex's character to transform from an up-tight academician to a hip-hop savvy homeboy. It’s one of the biggest laughs of the evening. Next fall Alex will be beginning his tenure as a theatre major at Elon.

Julia Greer is one of our wonderful cheerleaders. Chase, K and Sherri have done a great job creating a cheerleading unit that functions as a team, not as a group of individuals. So it’s hard for me to help you pick out Julia from the rest of her clique, all of whom pretty much dress, move and smile alike, just like they're supposed to. Julia is a rising freshman at Collegiate, and appeared with SPARC last summer in Dear Edwina.

B J Gruber is our heartthrob skater dude who secretly longs to play the cello. He participates in the drama program at Godwin H S, and is the only cast member to start the show off on wheels.

Christie Jackson just graduated from high school and is looking forward to beginning her theatre studies next fall at Madison. If you take note of the skilled acrobat with red hair, you’re noting Christie.

Charles Johnson is a rising senior at Highland Springs H S and received his vocal training with The Greater Richmond Children’s Choir. He’s on our basketball team in DHSM, and enjoying all that dribbling in Getcha Head in the Game.

Kouryn Lupino is a rising senior at Godwin H S, and attended the Center for the Arts at Henrico H S for two years in the musical theatre program. She’s pretty irresistible on stage, and you’ll recognize her as the one who wears a knit cap over her long dark hair.

Hannah Miller is a rising junior at Trinity H S and a returnee from our cast of Grease last summer. She recently appeared in The Wizard of Oz at Theatre IV, and takes dance at the Richmond Dance Center. You’ll spot her in DHSM as the one who is directed to “be the bear” in drama class, and has a beaming smile throughout the ensemble numbers.

Dylan Moon is a proud member of our second pair of siblings, a distinction he shares with his big brother Zac. Last summer, Dylan played the son, Nathan, in The Full Monty at Barksdale Willow Lawn. Last winter he was a floating head in Flowers for Algernon at Swift Creek Mill.

Na’imah Nelson spent her freshman year at the Center for the Arts at Henrico H S, and will soon be a sophomore at Hermitage H S. She received additional training from the Richmond City Dance Theatre, and is pleased to have joined the cheer squad in DHSM.

Paul Newell is a rising junior at Deep Run H S and is a proud alum of Christian Youth Theatre. You can identify Paul as the referee in the climactic basketball game at the end of our show.

And that brings me to the end of this entry. There’s more to come soon regarding the final ten talented teens in our High School Musical entourage. Each one is worth applauding, and we're blessed that all of them have agreed to be in the show.

--Bruce Miller

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