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High School Musical on Stage!
High School Musical on Stage!

Basis:

High School Musical

High School Musical on Stage! is a musical based on the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical, with music and lyrics by Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray and Greg Cham, Drew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Andy Dodd, Adam Watts, Bryan Louiselle, David N. Lawrence, Faye Greenberg and Jamie Houston, and a book by David Simpatico. It has quickly become a very popular choice for high school musical theatre productions.

Main Characters

List of main characters in their respective groups.

The Jocks

  • Troy Bolton - Captain of the Basketball team, met Gabriella over winter break. Lead male.
  • Chad Danforth - Basketball team member and friend of Troy's.
  • Zeke Baylor - Basketball team member with a passion for baking. Solo in "Status Quo."
  • Jason Cross - Basketball team member, eager for Troy to continue his passion for basketball in "Counting On You."

The Thespians

  • Sharpay Evans - Lead in every school musical since kindergarten. President of the drama club and most popular student.
  • Ryan Evans - Sharpay's brother. Performs with his sister in musicals and Vice President of the drama club.
  • Kelsi Nielsen - Pianist for the drama club and composer of the winter musical.
  • James Parker - An earth worm expressionist. He has the worst sense of pitch.
  • Cyndra - Overdramatic, operatic soprano.
  • Susan - Emotional wreck with manly-sounding riffs.
  • Cathy - Ethel Merman wannabe, with no sense of tempo.
  • Alan - Well-dressed, but extremely shy.

The Brainiacs

  • Gabriella Montez - The "New Girl" to East High School, met Troy over winter break. Lead female.
  • Taylor McKessie - Head of the Brainiacs. She convinces Gabriella to try out for the Mathelites.
  • Martha Cox - Brainiac, who has a passion for hip-hop. Solo in "Status Quo."
  • Kratnoff - Brainiac, who is very much against Martha Cox's dancing, and "knows everything about everything."

The Skater Dudes

  • Ripper - Head of the skater dudes. Passion for the celle. Solo in "Status Quo."
  • Mongo - Skater dude. Ripper's "sidekick."

Other Students

  • Jack Scott - News announcer at East High. Also known as "The Velvet Fog of East High". He has two sisters, Jeanette and Jamie. Whether or not they appear is optional.
  • Cell Phone Girls - Chorus and Understudies.

The Adults

  • Ms. Darbus - Drama teacher. Dislikes the Jocks and Coach Bolton.
  • Coach Bolton - Gym teacher; Troy's father and coach of the basketball team.
  • Ms Tenny - The chemistry teacher. May or may not be portrayed as pregnant.

Synopsis

Act I

At East High School (in Albuquerque, New Mexico) "Wildcat Cheer", Troy Bolton tells his jock friends, Chad Danforth and Zeke Baylor, about meeting Gabriella Montez on New Year's Eve during winter vacation on a ski trip. Gabriella, who has just moved to Albuquerque, also tells her newfound Brainiac friends Taylor McKessie, Kelsi Nielsen and Martha Cox of her vacation. We meet Sharpay and Ryan Evans, the two drama stars of the school. Sharpay is selfish, and Ryan follows her orders but tries to be friends with everyone. Troy and Gabriella have a flashback to New Year's Eve when they met. "Start of Something New". One half of the song is during the flashback, then we return to East High where Chad, Taylor, Kelsi, Ryan, Sharpay, Zeke and other students sing of their New Year's resolutions.

In homeroom, Ms. Darbus tells her class of the upcoming winter musical, "Juliet and Romeo", a new version of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", written by Kelsi Nielsen, a shy East High student. When Ryan, Sharpay, Troy and Gabriella start using their cell phones, Ms. Darbus gives them all detention. Chad interferes, telling Ms. Darbus that Troy cannot go because they have basketball practice after school and that they have an upcoming championship game. Ms. Darbus then gives Chad a 30 minute detention, and gives Taylor detention when she remarks that Chad can't even count that high. At Gabriella's locker, Troy runs into her and they show their amazement of how they found each other again. Sharpay walks by and tries to flirt with Troy, but he shows no interest in her. Sharpay observes that he is interested in Gabriella and she is interested in him. Later, the Jocks have basketball practice "Get'cha Head in the Game".

In a Science class, Gabriella shows her smarts by pointing out a flaw in the teacher's equation. Taylor is impressed and asks, on behalf of her Science Club, if Gabriella could join their team to win the upcoming Scholastic Decathlon, although Gabriella refuses. Sharpay overhears and has Ryan investigate by Googling her.

Discovering that Gabriella was a very intelligent Brainiac at her old school, Sharpay prints her newfound information and puts it in Taylor's locker. The students later head to Ms. Darbus' room for detention, and acts like animals. Taylor then asks Gabriella again to join the Scholastic Decathlon team based on the print-outs Sharpay planted in her locker, and Gabriella agrees. Everyone does the "ball of noise," and Coach Bolton comes to get Troy and Chad for practice and then talks to Ms. Darbus about it.

The next day, Thespians audition for the play "Auditions". Sharpay and Ryan audition as well "What I've Been Looking For". After the auditions have been declared closer, Gabriella and Troy sing the song as Kelsi intended it, much slower "What I've Been Looking For (Reprise)". Although Troy and Gabriella did not intend it to be an audition they are called back for a second audition. When their friends hear the news they spread it via cell phones "Cellular Fusion".

Sharpay is furious, believing Troy and Gabriella have stolen the lead roles and broken the rules of East High. Though most of the school agrees, lyrical chaos erupts during a lunch break when students begin telling their secret obsessions outside of their cliques "Stick to the Status Quo". The scene culminates with Sharpay getting caked by Zeke (who secretly likes her), after Gabriella spins into him. Act I ends with Sharpay angrily shotuing "Someone is going to pay for this!"

Act II

Jack Scott recaps events before Troy and Gabriella dance on the rooftop garden "I Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You". Zeke comes to Sharpay's locker and tries to flirt with her. Meanwhile, the Jocks and Brainiacs plot against the infuriated duo during study hall. Sharpay and Ryan see the Jocks and Brainiacs mingling together and imagine that they are trying to help Troy and Gabriella. So Sharpay lies to Ms. Darbus saying that Troy and his dad are trying to ruin the auditions because she gave Troy detention. Later at practice "Wildcat Cheer (Reprise)", Ms. Darbus talks to Troy's dad and then he talks to Troy. Gabriella comes to practice to see Troy while Martha comes and takes her to the lab. Troy's dad thinks Gabriella is the reason why Troy got detention. He tells Troy that he is a playmaker and not a singer. This infuriates Troy who angrily asks his father if he ever wondered if he could be both and storms off in a rage, leaving his father stunned.

The Jocks and Brainiacs put their plan to work, pushing at Troy and Gabriella to split up. Eventually, Troy, furious with his friends for telling him the same things his dad did, gives in and pretends that he doesn't like Gabriellla, completely oblivious to the phone in Zeke's hand, transmitting Troy's words directly to Gabriella "Counting on You". Gabriella hears and becomes very upset. Troy and Gabriella,  lonely and upset, sing "When There Was Me and You". The Jocks and Brainiacs then realise that they have gone too far and feel guilty for ruining Troy and Gabriella's relationship.

The next day, Sharpay and Ryan are rehearsing for their callback while Sharpay talks to Ryan about her role in the school. Then Troy comes in looking for Gabriella and Ryan tells him that she is in the theatre. Troy goes to the theatre and tells Gabriella that they were set up and he didn't mean what he said and sings to remind her of New Year's "Start of Something New (Reprise)".

Hearing that the callback date has been moved up by request of Sharpay to the same time as the big game and the Scholastic Decathlon, Troy and Gabriella announce to the Jocks and Brainiacs that they are going to not do the callback, but instead help their respective teams for their events. The Jocks and Brainiacs say they should do the callbacks. Troy and Gabriella refuse, but the teams decide to lend a helping hand anyway "We're All in This Together".

On the day of the big game/Decathlon/calbacks, the students are excited for the festivities. Sharpay and Ryan perform their callback song "Bop to the Top", which at the same time happens with the basketball championship and the science decathlon, during which Taylor engineers an electronic meltdown in the decathlon and light malfunctions in the game; which forces all the students to move to the theater. Chad and Taylor explain to Troy and Gabriella that this is their only chance. Ms. Darbus, hesitant to allow Troy and Gabriella an audition due to their lateness, has no choice but to let them audition as the auditorium fills with students "Breaking Free". Ms. Darbus gives Troy and Gabriella the parts on the spot with everyone watching.

The end of Act II brings us to the gym where all the main characters wrap up their plots (Chad asks Taylor to an after-party, Zeke gets Sharpay to be nice to him, Jack Scott and Kelsi flirt, and Sharpay makes up with Gabriella and Troy). The Wildcats win the big game and the Decathlon. The students celebrate "We're All in This Together (Reprise)" followed by a recap of all the major songs in the show "Megamix" during the curtain call.

Songs

Act I

  • "Wildcat Cheer" - Cheerleaders and Cast
  • "Start of Something New" - Troy, Gabriella and Cast
  • "Get'cha Head in the Game" - Troy and Jocks
  • "Get'cha Head in the Game (Reprise)" - Troy and Jocks
  • "Auditions" - Cyndra, Alan, Susan, Cathy, James and Ms. Darbus
  • "What I've Been Looking For" - Ryan and Sharpay
  • "What I've Been Looking For (Reprise)" - Troy and Gabriella
  • "Cellular Fashion" - Taylor, Chad, Martha, Zeke, Kelsi, Sharpay, Ryan and Company
  • "Stick to the Status Quo" - Ryan, Sharpay, Zeke, Martha, Ripper and Company

Act II

  • "I Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" - Troy and Gabriella
  • "Wildcat Cheer (Reprise)" - Cheerleaders
  • "Counting on You" - Chad, Taylor, Martha, Zeke, Jocks, Brainiacs, Troy and Gabriella
  • "When There Was Me and You" - Troy, Gabriella and Company
  • "Start of Something New (Reprise)" - Troy and Gabriella
  • "We're All in This Together" - Kelsi, Chad, Taylor, Jack Scott, Jocks and Brainiacs
  • "Bop to the Top" - Ryan, Sharpay, Taylor, Moderator V.O., Coach Bolton, Jack Scott and Thespians
  • "Breaking Free" - Troy, Gabriella and Cast
  • "We're All in This Together (Reprise)" - Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan and Cast
  • "Megamix" - Company

Productions

United States Tour

Disney Theatrical staged a US tour that began on August 1, 207 and ended on August 3, 2008.

Principal Cast

  • John Jeffrey Martin as Troy Bolton
  • Arielle Jacobs as Gabriella Montez
  • Shakiem Evans as Chad Danforth
  • Shaullanda Lacombe as Taylor McKessie
  • Chandra Lee Schwartz as Sharpay Evans (until 15/02/08)
  • Helene Yorke as Sharpay Evans (from 02/17/08)
  • Bobby List as Ryan Evans
  • Michael Mahany as Jack Scott
  • Olivia Oguma as Kelsi Nielsen
  • Ben Thompson as Zeke Baylor
  • Lizzie Weiss as Martha Cox
  • Ron Bohmer as Coach Bolton
  • Ellen Harvey as Ms. Darbus

Regional Premieres

  • On August 1, 2006, Playbill announced that the Stagedoor Manor summer theater camp, featured in the movie Camp, would be the first venue to produce High School Musical on Stage!
  • On January 12, 2007, Theater of the Stars in Atlanta, Georgia was the first professional company to stage the production.
  • On February 15, 2007, Pacific Repertory Theatre's School of Dramatic Arts staged the California premiere. PacRep's High School Musical was revived in January 2008, and in January, 2009, the company presented the West Coast premiere of High School Musical 2: on Stage! The 3 productions were directed by PacRep Founder Stephen Moorer, choreographed by Susan Cable, with Musical Direction by Don Dally.
  • On Tuesday, 17 April 2007, Bridgend Youht Theatre was the first theatre company to perform the show in Wales.
  • On April 17, 2009, Neptune Theatre of Halifax, Nova Scotia produced the professonal Canadian premiere of "High School Musical on Stage!" The show included 3 actors from the hit children's television series "The Doodlebops". The production was directed and choreographed by Canadian director/choreographer David W. Connolly, and broke several box office records for the theatre.

High School Musical 2: On Stage!

See Also: High School Musical 2: On Stage!

High School Musical 2, the sequel to the popular movie High School Musical, is also being spun off into a stage musical. Like the original, the show has been adapted into 2 different productions, a 1-act, 70-minute version and a 2-act full length production. This stage production includes the song "Hummuhummunukunukuapua" that was left out of the original movie but included in the DVD. Through Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical is licensing the theatrical rights. MTI had originally recruited 7 schools to serve as tests for the new full-length adaptation, but due to complications with multiple drafts of both the script and the score, all but two schools were forced to drop out of the pilot program.

  • On May 18, 2008, Woodlands High School became the first school to produce High School Musical 2.
  • From July 17 - August 3, 2008, Harrel Theatre, in Collierville, Tennessee, was the first community theatre to perform the production, which featured both a senior cast and a junior cast.
  • From January 15 - February 15, 2009, the West Coast premiere production wwas presented by Pacific Repertory Theatre's School of Dramatic Arts. The production was directed by PacRep founder Stephen Moorer, who previously directed the California premiere of the first High School Musical.
  • From 14-18 April 2009, the Irish premiere will be performed by Meath Youth Musical Society in Navan.

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