The Colaiste Dun Iascaigh school gymnasium is used to crowds roaring on their successful basketball team but the crowds who turned up last week to witness the Wildcats from East High School strut their stuff were unprecedented. High School Musical played to three full houses and three standing ovations.
Playing to a vibrant set put together by the Art and Woodwork departments and assembled as always by Mr. Paddy Lonergan. Ann Maher and Tim Corcoran’s design was stunning. High School Musical is high paced and right from the start, the cheerleaders from the Junior and Senior chorus had the crowd whipped into a frenzy. They sang and danced their hearts out all night long.
This is a musical about a musical. It tells the story of Troy and Gabriella played by Cavan McKenna and Nicole Butler. Cavan is new to the stage but you couldn’t tell. He brought real stage presence to the role. Nicole was the gentle Gabriella who was conflicted by her love of singing and Maths! Nicole’s tender voice was beautiful and added perfectly to her character. Her enemy is the diva Sharpay accompanied by her acolyte and twin brother Ryan. Saoirse Murphy and Cillian Conway were hilarious and mischievous as the malevolent siblings. Saoirse in particular sang and danced with real star quality in her scenes.
The cliques, the jocks and the braniacs also had many star turns. Alissa Keating and Patrick O’Donovan were stars of last year’s show and their experience came to the fore again. They both showed real confidence as the best friends of Troy and Gabriella. The basketball playing Jocks showed some great moves. They were Dylan Fitzgerald, James Condon, Darragh O’Leary, Jack Kelly, Tim Hickey, Ciaran Power and Sean Murphy. The Braniacs were full of wonderful singers in Niamh Murphy, Georgina Conroy, Elaine Whelan, Ciara Hickey, Katie Noonan and Emily O’Donovan. Amy Carroll was hilarious as the over the top drama teacher Ms. Darbus while Eoin Rowe was fierce as Troy’s father, Coach Bolton. Daniel Cunningham was comical as the slick Jack Scott and Loredana Marginean played the reluctant genius Kelsi exquisitely. Emma Quirke and Eireann O’Brien also played their parts excellently. The scene changes were managed with great precision by Lauren Murphy, Caitlin Cashman and their industrious team.
The whole show was put together by a new team this year. Norma Barry-Hurley has been at the helm of many a successful show with her musical partner Deirdre Buckley. This year Norma was joined by Judith Shortall and Kate Lineen. Together, the trio put together a spectacular show. The singing was remarkable, clear and wonderfully harmonious. The choreography was outstandingly intricate and perfectly timed. The acting was believable and true.
This year’s show from the Colaiste was riotous and packed full of energy, life and vitality, a testament to the hard work put in by so many people on stage and off. High School Musical was an enormous success. We wait with baited breath for next year’s show.