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High School Musical Play Review

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Emma Begley, Staff Writer

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It is safe to say that the vast majority of Santiago High School’s student body had their dreams just come true. The East High Wildcats came to SHS this past weekend! I spent my Friday night dancing in my seat and singing to “Getcha Head in the Game” while having my heart beat 1000 times per minute.

When I heard that the Santiago Theatre Department was producing High School Musical, I almost screamed for joy. I didn’t even know that the Disney Channel Original Movie was made into a stage show, which was actually quite cool. The show features a few new amazing songs while sticking to the “status quo” of the original film.

The set of the show was interesting, as it was one simple platform that represented nearly every location in the show. The costumes were nice and simple, considering that the show takes place in a high school, but I especially enjoyed the uniforms that the basketball team and cheerleaders wore. It captured the essence of what it meant to be a Wildcat!

The two leads, Troy and Gabriella, were by far my favorites in the entire show. I had high hopes when I heard that Melanie Villalobos (12) was playing Gabriella Montez, and she did not disappoint. She was the absolute perfect Gabriella, and I could not imagine anyone else playing her. I was also thoroughly impressed with Melanie’s co-star, Zachary Neiman-Macak (10). This dynamo is only a sophomore, so I hope to see him in future productions! His acting was phenomenal, and his voice was absolutely stunning. Another notable member of the cast was Rocco Novello (12), who played the voice of East High, Jack Scott. Rocco was insanely captivating with his announcements throughout the show and was the voice of comedy in the production.

One questionable aspect of the show was the fact that so many of Santiago High School’s talented seniors who I have seen in countless productions were not utilized as prominently in the performance as I would have liked to see. Moreover, a few crowd-favorite numbers lacked the energy that was so abundant in the movie. For example, while “Start of Something New” was a great number, it seemed as if a few pinpoint members of the cast were either confused or bored. “What I’ve Been Looking For” is one of my personal favorites from the original movie, but it lacked the iconic flair and spunk that Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel portrayed in the 2006 film.

My favorite song in the show was the Audition Song! The choreography was clean and put together, and the soloists were hilarious! Altogether it enhanced the whole production with high energy and great reactions from the audience.

There were also many unfortunate technical difficulties throughout the show. Microphones were going in and out, and there was a lot of insanely loud feedback given. I understand that it was not anyone’s fault, but it was quite distracting.

The show concluded with the famous number “We’re All In This Together”, but the show wasn’t over quite yet. After the cast took their bows and the lights went down, the cast remained on stage. Rocco Novello gave a heartfelt speech about how cast member, Sophia Hogue (12), was a valuable asset to the production, and the entire cast awarded her with flowers and a poster stating “We Love You Sophia!” It was a beautiful moment showing unity and appreciation throughout the whole group.

Overall, I was impressed with Santiago’s Production of “High School Musical”, and I can’t see what shows will be done next year. Go Wildcats!

 

* Photo by Shanelle Huynh (12)

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High School Musical Play Review