The company of Disney’s High School Musical celebrated after a joyous closing last night, having sold out every performance of its three-week, 15-show run! The Cramer Center seats 500 and additional portable seats were sold or comped at every show. All told, over 7,700 people enjoyed the show.
This tremendous success is due to the hard work and talent of every member of the company, from our able crew to our rockin’ pit band to our console operators to our fantastic box office staff and house volunteers to our top-of-their-game designers, director and choreographer. We’re All in This Together is not just the name of a song.
The success is due also, I know, to the fact that Disney’s High School Musical is a national, almost cultish phenomenon right now, and we’re riding that wave. High School Musical II opens on the Disney Channel on August 17, and if you don't already have that date marked on your calendar, then you must not be in upper elementary. If you were to ask the first 8-year-old girl you meet on the street to name an American musical, there’s a 95% chance that Disney’s High School Musical would be the show she’d name (she'd leave out the Disney, but by contract I'm not allowed to)—with Hairspray and Wicked probably being a close second and third. In my childhood, it would have been The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. These are the shows that have taken their place. It will be hard, if not impossible, to replicate this box office success next summer.
But it's more than just that. I have to say that I saw the last 15 to 20 minutes of the show probably ten times, and it never failed to bring a tear to my eye. It’s very moving—there’s no other way for me to describe it—to see so many kids from so many different parts of our metro area all singing and dancing their hearts out together in perfect harmony. They come from 20 different high schools and home schools and 18 different zip codes. And from all I could tell, they couldn’t have become better friends or formed a more cohesive team.
Our annual Greater Richmond High School All Star Musical is a GREAT program. Thanks to our partner, The Steward School, our sponsor, McGeorge Mercedes, and everyone involved. I hope you all have a wonderful rest-of-the-summer!