High school musicals

(My colleague, Tom Weber, who probably can carry a tune, sent me this entry)

This Friday marks the theatrical release of the third “High School Musical” movie. This sequel focuses on the teens’ senior year, which would suggest this will be the last of the “High School Musical” series – but if anyone can finagle another sequel, it’s Disney.

I truly don’t understand the draw of this phenom, but that proves nothing except how far removed I am from the target audience. Still, I used the opportunity of the movie’s opening to find out what some schools around the metro (and one outstate) are performing this year.

A few notes:

– One high school (Eagan) is doing “High School Musical.”

– Centennial is doing “Sweeney Todd,” the school edition. Me wonders if the ‘school’ edition has dulled the show’s murderous undertones – but if you take out those themes, what’s left?

– Rumors that I portrayed Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls” when I was a senior are actually quite true.

– This was never an attempt to be a complete list of all schools, so if yours isn’t listed but know which show they’re doing, please join the discussion of this blog entry.

High School musicals, 2008-2009 year
High School Show Date(s)
Blaine Seussical Spring 2009
The Blake School Once on this Island March 2009
Centennial (Circle Pines) Sweeney Todd – School Edition Nov. 13-15
Chaska West Side Story Nov. 15-16, 20-22
Concordia Academy-Roseville Big, the Musical March 2009
Eagan High School Musical Nov. 11-12, 17-19, 23-25
East Central (Finlayson) Annie Get Your Gun Nov. 20-23
Eastview The Music Man Dec. 5, 7, 11-13
Edina Godspell April 2009
Forest Lake Urinetown Nov. 6-8, 13-15
Fridley Cinderella Nov. 14-15, 20-22
Hill-Murray (St. Paul) Aida April 2009
Hopkins A Wonderful Life Nov. 7-9, 13-15
Jefferson (Bloomington) Fiddler on the Roof Oct. 1-5
Kennedy (Bloomington) The Secret Garden Oct. 23-26
Lakeville North Beauty and the Beast Nov. 7-8, 14-15
MSSPA (Hopkins) RENT: the school edition Feb. 2009
Maple Grove The Will Rogers Follies Nov. 7-8, 14-16
Mound Westonka Into the Woods Nov. 13-16
Park (Cottage Grove) Jesus Christ Superstar April 2009
Robbinsdale Cooper Cabaret Nov. 14-15, 20-22
Rosemount Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Dec. 6-7, 11-13
Shakopee Little Shop of Horrors Nov. 14-15, 22-24
South St. Paul The Sound of Music Jan. 2009
St. Francis Smokey Joe’s Cafe April 2009
Totino-Grace Oklahoma! Oct 29-31, Nov. 1-2
Visitation/St. Thomas Academy Aida April, May 2009
Washburn The Wiz March 2009
Wayzata My Fair Lady Nov. 13-15, 19-22
  • Edina is also doing “Thoroughly Modern Millie” on November 6-8 & 13-15 — which makes it a school that does at least TWO schools a year.

    When I was in school, I never knew of a school that did two musicals a year – and I wonder if that’s a recent trend (or was I just not in the right part of the world?)…

  • Gremlin

    Back in the late ’70s we did a version of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” at Bemidji High School.

    The primary challenge was finding suitable substitutes for 4-letter words that didn’t become repetitive.

  • This will surprise absolutely no one, but I was in all 4 musicals in my high school. I played the Kralahome in The King and I, and the lead in Babes in Arms– a horrible musical with some great songs. (Sinatra did “The Lady is A Tramp” from that show). We did Singing in the Rain and The Music Man too.

    This is a good list: I love Sweeney Todd and Into The Woods.

  • Alanna in MI

    Ah, musicals. I love them. I’ve done 5 in the list above. 2 while in high school, 3 with our local theater. I always played in the pit orchestra. Best times ever. I wish I could play in some more. I hope the students enjoy what they’re doing, and I hope they have sold out crowds! haha

  • Roseville Area High School is doing a musical, The Pirates of Penzance, and a non-musical, at the same time…starting Friday, October 24th.

    Performances schedules can be found at Link

  • Alanna in MI

    I forgot to add this: my high school, Owatonna, is doing Bye Bye Birdie Nov. 20-23, 2008.

  • stephanie

    although i am a huge fan of musicals, (i performed in several when i was in high school), i find it interesting (and perplexing) that public schools are allowed to perform musicals with a christian theme and message: godspell, jesus christ superstar, and joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat. isn’t there a separation of church and state for public education? how does one separate the musical quality in these pieces from the content? somewhat of a contradiction in our present time if these musicals are deemed acceptable while other celebrations of years past, namely halloween, are being renamed “fall festivals” due to the perceived anti-christian content.

  • Jean

    This is to respectfully address comments regarding musicals with Christian themes.

    I have been a music teacher in the public schools for thirteen years. We certainly do perform musicals – and other pieces in the bands, choirs, and orchestras – with religious connotations. We need to. We owe it to our students to expose them to the great works of art of all cultures, of all nationalities, and of all races and creeds. The history of humankind is such that a large amount of great art has religious connections. It is not fair to the students to ignore Handel’s Messiah or Bruch’s Kol Nidre just because we are a “public” school. We need to sing and play African-American spirituals, Bach chorales, and Mozart’s Requiem. Religious music is part of our culture; of all cultures.

    I and the other music teachers I know go to great effort to teach the historical and societal contexts of a piece so the students better understand the role of the piece in the world. Preaching the virtues of a particular religion is not our place, nor should it be. Teaching students why African-American slaves may have sung “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is a different matter. We are respectful at all times and teach the students to be respectful as well.

    In the public school, we don’t do religious music just to do religious music. We do quality music that sometimes happens to be religious. Godspell, JC Superstar, and Joseph, for instance, all fall into that category. Yes, they certainly do have Christian themes. However, besides being great musically, they also discuss larger concepts of community, history, and how to live in society. There is a great deal that students can learn from this, from basic technical skills and knowledge to how to think and how to reason. The arts are a wonderful way to reach through our perceived differences and truly connect with and understand others.

    The bottom line is that we owe the students an education, the best one we can possibly give them. Leaving out great music solely because of religious connotations cheats the students out of valuable experiences. This is not fair to them, and it is not fair to the society they will one day lead.

  • Michael

    I was involved in every annual musical in high school also. As an adult, I fondly remember every production. I am thrilled to see the emphasis that is being directed to the Arts in high schools. I am impressed by the Twin Cities efforts to acknowledge the work of these kids throught the SpotLight awards. I am proud to support this work as a rehearsal accompanist and pit musician at many of the schools listed above. KUDOS to the educators who are committed to the Arts in secondary schools. These are experiences of a lifetime.

  • Wendy

    Our theatre department is a combination of two schools, Convent of the Visitation School and Saint Thomas Academy…we are called VISTA Productions. We traditionally do a comedy or drama in the fall production slot. However, our students have such strong musical talents that we did two musicals last year…this year again we will present two! “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” opens November 14th and runs for two weekends. “Aida” will be our musical in the spring.

    I actually appreciate the “High School Musical” series. It’s fun and delivers a good message. I have worked in professional theatre for years and love it but I the time spent learning the craft during my high school years was foundational. Perhaps that’s why I love my work so much.

  • Brianna

    I just saw Centennials musical “SweenyTodd School edition” and was amazed.

    The singing was amazing, even though some things were altered from the movie the play was great.

    There were scenes when you were sad and scenes where you wanted to leave it was so freaky and scary. The acting was amzing also.