January 23, 2007

‘High School Musical’ @ Fox


Go ahead. Call me a freak. I’m a 46-year-old theater critic for a major metropolitan newspaper, and I’m feeling the pure bubble-gum joy of Disney’s “High School Musical.”

In spirit, I’m right up there with the vibrating balcony of cheering tween-agers who rocked the Fox Theatre last night, as Atlanta witnessed the unveiling of the first professional stage treatment of the unstoppable pop phenomenon.

As directed by Jeff Calhoun for Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars, the tale of East High School’s colliding cliques of basketball players, thespians and brainiacs may not be a slam dunk, Broadway-ready, A+ production. (We’ll get to the demerits in just a sec.) But it’s a strongly acted, brightly designed, adrenalin-soaked celebration of the triumph of all things good and true.

And for a story based on such thread-bare plot material, stitched together by so much light-weight musical thread, it’s a surprisingly moving experience.

At $56 a ticket, I am hoping it moves my ass off. See ya there tonight if you're going, blogfriends. Look for the three screaming kids and two bewildered moms.

P.S. Assuming this will bear slight resemblance to my first concert: The Jackson Five in 1973/4 at the Rochester War Memorial. Expecting fewer fros and less pot for a variety of reasons.

More on the other side...

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