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'High School Musical'

On Jan. 20, 2006, "High School Musical," the made-for-television musical film produced and distributed by Disney Channel, was released. It has become one of the most successful Disney Channel Original Movies produced. The soundtrack was one of the most commercially successful albums of 2006.

The film has now been translated into a stage show and about 200 schools across the United States have been given rights to produce it. The Central Point-based Children's Musical Theatre of Oregon will present the first live stage performance in Oregon.

CMTO's production of Disney's "High School Musical" production will feature more than 35 performers ages 12 through 17 in eight performances: 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays April 12-21 with additional 1 p.m. matinee performances on Saturday April 14 and April 21, at Crater Performing Arts Center at Crater High School, 655 N. Third St., Central Point.

"High School Musical" tells the story of two high school students: Troy Bolton, captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella Montez, a shy transfer student who excels in math and science. Together, they try out for the lead parts in their high school musical. Despite other students' attempts to thwart their dreams, Troy and Gabriella persist and inspire others along the way.

Differing slightly from the movie version, the stage musical includes two new songs: "Counting On You" and "Cellular Fusion." Many songs have different tunes and different parts added to them and some characters have been changed or added.

Peter Barsocchini wrote the original movie. David Simpatico wrote the book for the stage show with songs by Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray Cham, Greg Cham, Andrew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Andy Dodd, Adam Watts, Bryan Louiselle, David N. Lawrence, Faye Greenberg and Jamie Houston.

The Children's Musical Theatre of Oregon has a policy of casting all young people who complete the audition process.

This allows performers with experience as well as those with little or no experience to be a part of a professional-level production.

CMTO's artistic staff provides theatrical training and experience. Staff members include John Taylor, Suzanne Seiber, and Loni Strong. Taylor is CMTO's executive and musical director. With more than 30 years as a professional keyboardist, pianist, musical director, composer and producer, Taylor is the former musical director and conductor of Cirque du Soleil's "O" at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He also has worked with Jennifer Lopez, DeBarge, Exposé, Rick Astley, and Johnny Lee. In the Rogue Valley he served as musical director for Oregon Cabaret Theatre's 2006 production of "5 Guys Named Moe."

Taylor and his wife, CMTO co-founder Rhonda Taylor, produced CMTO's stagings of "Grease" and "The Wizard of Oz" last year.

For its summer and winter 2007 season, CMTO has scheduled "Peter Pan" and "Scrooge, The Stingiest Man In Town."

Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for youth under 12 years of age, and are available online at www.cmtoregon.org, as well as Loose Ends Hair Styling, Ashland, and at Dirty Dogz Pe Care and Medford Music, Medford.

Call 778-3365.

“High School Musical”