(Photo credit: Mark Shiefelbein for The News-Leader)
Ever since I started being more honest with my Netflix ratings about what movies truly entertain me, I've been a lot happier. My Netfix movie suggestions have gone from wads of pretentious movies that I would watch in theory but not in practice, to "Hey! Want to watch High School Musical 2 again?"
Why, yes! Yes I do.
Lucky for me, High School Musical 2 is playing at the Vandivort Theatre in Springfield, MO through Aug. 2. Gretchen Teague directs a wonderful cast, and together they bring out all the campy fun (and more!) of the original movie.
Sally Trtan and Micah Scoggins play Gabriella and Troy, and in addition to having wonderful voices, the actors are great at capturing all the giddiness of teen romance.
Paige Deragowski plays the rich bitch Sharpay better than Ashley Tisdale ever did. Deragowski's Sharpay is a complex character--dominant and demanding but clearly fragile and insecure. Tisdale's Sharpay is pretty much just annoying.
I thought that the flamboyant character of Ryan would be the most difficult for an teenage actor to play, but Christian Cook does a fabulous job, with sweet dance moves to boot.
The chorus is delightful, and includes cheerleaders, poolboys, and Sharpettes (girls who follow Sharpay around). The antics of the chorus make for extra humor in the Vandivort production that was missing in the movie.
Special props go out to Malia Hu, who plays a Sharpette named Blossom. Despite not being the official understudy, Hu played the role of lead Gabriella at a moment's notice when Trtan fell ill during last Saturday's performance.
For more information on how to get tickets, check out the Vandivort's website, or RSVP to the Facebook event.