The scoop on 'HSM' sequel

Do you recognize local band director?

STAFF WRITERJune 9, 2009 

  • What: Disney's "High School Musical 2"

    Where: Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh

    When: Saturday through June 21

    Cost: $16-$46

    Contact: 831-6950, www.nctheatre.com

School's out at East High and your friends the Wildcats are landing cool summer jobs, like at Ryan's family's country club. The club's talent show is coming up, and Troy has agreed to sing with Sharpay. But what will that mean for Troy and Gabriella? If you're a fan, you know it's not a TV soap but "High School Musical 2," the stage version of the Disney film. N.C. Theatre is producing the sequel, which follows an 11-show, sold-out run of the original that the company staged two years ago. The show opens Saturday at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium. Here's a peak behind the curtain:

Far-flung cast

Fifty performers, from New York to Raleigh, comprise the cast. Fifteen of them are the talented and lucky ones who made it through four rounds of auditions, which began in February at Crabtree Valley Mall. Twenty-nine come from N.C. Theatre's conservatory.

Seasoned director

The company's new artistic director, Casey Hushion, is directing the musical. She has been assistant director on two Tony Award-winning Broadway shows: "The Drowsy Chaperone" and "In the Heights." (Recently, Hushion appeared in PBS's Great Performance Series program about "In the Heights.") Now she's associate director for "Minsky's" and "Elf," both of which are headed for Broadway.

Familiar face

If you've been around a while you might recognize the actor playing Fulton, the manager of Lava Springs Country Club. He's Jeffrey Richardson, who has received many honors during his 31 years as band director at Broughton High. Richardson, who has also done some local acting, says he has been living "High School Musical" for the past three decades.

Everybody's blogging

So you might as well find out what N.C. Theatre is blogging about, at northcarolinatheatre.blogspot.com.

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