Monday, August 6, 2007

The Greater Richmond High School All Star Musical Gets Greater Every Year!

Posted by Bruce Miller

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!

--Bruce Miller


pnlkotula said...

Bruce, I caught the Saturday matinee, and it was fantastic. I have a 13 yr old stepdaughter and still had managed not to see the movie, so I was a DHSM novice. For me, it was interesting to see some of the same students from last summer's Grease in completely different roles. We have a lot of great talent to nurture here. Congratulations on another great program completed. BTW, that's a GREAT shot of Hannah - definite framer!

Anonymous said...

High School Musical was so much fun. Every kid in the show seemed to be totally committed to their moment on stage. My only criticism was sound. It was hard to hear some of the actors.

Bruce Miller said...

We understand your comment about sound. We had similar concerns. The sound got better as the run went on and our operator became more adept at the particular sound system we were using at Steward. We were blessed with an expert operator.

Next summer, we hope to learn from the experience we had this summer. We plan to spend more time in rehearsal:
A - working with our young actors on projection and enunciation, and
B - ironing out the kinks in the complex sound system earlier in the process, so that the first performance sounds as good as the last.

Thanks for your constructive criticism. It helps us a lot.