Saturday, July 21, 2007

"High School Musical" Megamix

I know I’m beginning to wear out my welcome, if there ever was a welcome, with these endless blog entries about Disney’s High School Musical. It’s a big show, and it’s important to me to give every kid his or her due. So, with respect and appreciation, I’m going to zip through the final ten actors who make our “megamix” of a cast so mix-worthy.

T J Otey is a rising junior at New Kent H S—quite a few of these kids have been dealing with a loooooong commute to be a part of this show. T J is the one who gives a quiet and slightly tone deaf audition in the audition scene, prompting Ms. Darvus to admire his tennis shoes and suggest that he help out with costumes.

Amanda O’Toole is a rising junior at Atlee H S, and she studies dance at Shuffles Dance Studio. She appeared in Pippin with SPARC, and is rallying pep as one of our cheerleaders.

Johanna Reckenbeil is in the a cappella and show choir at Godwin, and she studies dance at Richmond Dance Center, but this is her first theatrical production. She plays one of our “brainiacs,” and adds persuasive hand motions to that section of Counting on You when they sing about Rosa Parks.

Kristin Ricca is back for a second summer, having played Cha Cha last summer in Grease. There’s a really great photo of Kristin dancing with Robert Watkins, last summer’s charming Danny Zuko, about six blog posts back. Kristin is a rising junior at Deep Run H S, and a proud alum of Christian Youth Theatre and the Latin Ballet of Virginia.

Zack Rogers is also a returnee from Grease, and a rising junior at Thomas Dale H S. He has two stand-out moments in the show. He gives an ear wrenching vocal performance in the audition scene, and he finds surprising depth in the movements of a worm.

Andrea Ross is our third Grease alum in a row. She is a rising sophomore at Henrico H S’s Center for the Arts. In the audition scene, she belts out the song like a soulful American Idol contestant.
Hali E. Russell just graduated from Varina H S, and is pleased to be in her first musical. She appears as the “brainiac” who loves hip-hop.

Ariel Spagnolo is a rising junior at Deep Run H S, where she recently played Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. She’s one of our beautiful cheerleaders, and lends her acrobatic skills to several musical numbers.

Suzanne Spicer was the one that we wanted last summer, playing Sandy in Grease. She just graduated from Godwin H S, and credits much of her theatrical success to her twelve years as a student at HATTheatre.

Molly Underwood will soon be a senior in the Math and Science High School at Clover Hill. So of course she’s playing a skater babe in DHSM.

As Porky Pig would say at the end of a Looney Toons cartoon, “Th – th – th - that’s all folks!” Since I’m feeling pretty loony myself right about now, I’ll leave it at that. All of us at Barksdale and Steward are proud of everyone associated with Disney’s High School Musical. I hope you’ll make it a point to stop by in the next two weeks and take in their show.

--Bruce Miller


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful opportunity Barksdale Theatre and the Steward School provide for these talented performers. Their enthusiasm and energy is infectious. Congrats on another successful summer production. My family and I look forward to many more!

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, all the youth did an outstanding job. Great spirit and energy on stage. But um...all of these many bios are in the show program. I would expect to see this blog used more for education than self-promotion.
- Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...

I like that you put the bios. My niece is in the show and with family and friends all over the country it's nice to see her online.

Anonymous said...

The person who wrote the "self-promotion" comment is missing the point. Only about half the information included in what he's written is included in the program. The other half is new. And what's not included in the program is any information that helps us figure out which kid is which. Mr. Miller has filled that gap by recognizing each actor's "stand-out" moment. I think it's GREAT that someone of his stature is taking so much notice of these kids. And isn't that sort of the point? Self-promotion? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Isn't is wonderful that positive comments CAN and should be written about such talented youth! Teenagers so often get labeled in a negative fashion! Thank you Bruce Miller for recognizing their positive attributes. This show is chock-full of talented, energetic young people who are not only great performers but all-around great people! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Blog is for education?