High School Musical - The Full Stage Production, the phenomenally successful stage production of Disney Channel’s original movie continues to wow audiences across the globe.
On 28 November 2008, the show with its 32-member South African cast and 11-piece band opens at Artscape, Cape Town thereafter moving to The Teatro at Montecasino, opening on 31 January 2009.
The principal roles are filled by a unique mix of well-known stage and television performers together with South Africa’s freshest, youngest new faces, exceptional talent with loads of enthusiasm, hope and determination to make their mark in the entertainment industry. Kate Normington(“Hairspray”, “Nunsense”, “My Fair Lady”, “Sunset Boulevard”) is the Drama schoolteacher “Ms Darbus” and Robert Finlayson (“West Side Story”, “Miss Saigon”, “La Cage Aux Folles”) plays the role of “Coach Bolton”. For the first time in South Africa, the public selected, via a television reality show “High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa” hosted by MNET, the male and female leads in a stage production. With much fanfare during a live television broadcast, members of the public voted seventeen-year old high school student, Carmen Pretorius of Johannesburg to play the role of “Gabriella Montez” and 20-year-old Durban student, David Schlachter for the role of “Troy Bolton”.
During the closing moments when one of the finalists in the MNET reality show, Darren Vercuiel from Alberton was voted off, he received a surprise offer from the stage production’s producers Pieter Toerien and Hazel Feldman to play the role of “Ryan Evans”. Another surprise offer stemming from MNET’s reality show is that of Durban receptionist, Thembeka Mnguni who auditioned for the role of Gabriella. Although not suited to play the leading female role, the creative team working on both the television reality show and the stage production were blown away by Thembeka’s powerful vocal talents and some weeks later offered her the role of “Martha Cox”, a plump schoolgirl with a secret passion for hip-hop.
The Cape Town ensemble members are Michelle La Trobe (Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Hairspray), Bethany Dickson (Sound of Music, Carousel), Courtney Jonas (reached top 14 finalists in HSM Spotlight SA on MNet), Grant Almirall (Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent, Chicago), Stephen Jubber (Merchant of Venice, In Briefs, Aladdin and His Magic Lamp) and Malan Le Roux (Footloose, Guys and Dolls, Equus), who was born in the Mother City but now resides in Port Elizabeth. Also from Port Elizabeth are schoolteacher Tilette Schreuder (Grease, Caberet, Guys and Dolls), Mandisa Tiso (Annie, Grease, Footloose) and Rhys Hewitt Williams (Guys and Dolls, Equus). From KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg-born Clive Gilson (Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Ladies Take a Bow) now lives in Cape Town. Gauteng residents, Trudy Fredericks (African Footprint, Lion King, Spirit of the Dance), Catherine Daymond (Hair, Fangs, Cats, La Cage Aux Folles), Tandi Meikle (Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You, Chicago The Musical), Derrick Anderson (Hairspray, The Full Monty, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), Shaun Murphy (Saturday Night Fever, African Footprint, Full Monty), Martin van Heerden (African Footprint, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess), and Yaron Blasbalg aka Blaze (Operamania, So You Think You Can Dance) complete the ensemble line-up.
Following its premiere in Chicago in August 2007, High School Musical – The Full Stage Production has played sold out seasons in more than 40 cities across the USA. The current tour of the United Kingdom has broken all box office records and future productions are scheduled for Spain, Italy, France and Holland. December 2008 sees the official opening of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL – The Full Stage Production in Cape Town and Sydney, Australia.
Venue: Artscape, DF Malan St, Cape Town. Tel: (021) 421 7695.
Time: Thu & Fri @ 7:30pm, Sat @ 3:00pm & 7:30pm, Sun @ 1:30pm & 5:30pm
Price: R100 - R350
Performances: 28 Nov 2008 - 10 Jan 2009