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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

‘High School Musical’ to Open Cultural Arts Center Season

September 18, 2008

By FRANK ROBERTS

By Frank Roberts

Correspondent

SUFFOLK

It began with Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey and a young lady listed in the Walt Disney phone book as White, Snow.

Twenty-five years ago their adventures and misadventures became the first offering of the Hurrah Players.

This year, as befits the 21st century, mood and attitudes have changed but, it’s still a Disney world. The company is bringing “High School Musical” to the Suffolk Center For Cultural Arts this Sunday.

The show, which is acclaimed by critics, children and their parents and friends, is “a hot property,” according to Hugh Copeland, Hurrah’s founder/director. The production will be the season opener for the center.

Thanks to Copeland’s persistence, “High School Musical,” a highly rated staple on the Disney Channel, was offered to the Hurrah Players. The Norfolk-based family theater is one of the few play groups which, at this point, has been given permission to offer the musical.

Copeland particularly wanted this play because of its unbounded popularity. The soundtrack was named Soundtrack Of the Year and Best Pop Album Of the Year by Billboard Magazine, and the choreography netted an Emmy Award.

It is a video game, a series of books and there is an ice show which will come to Hampton Roads later this year.

“I guarantee, you’ll leave the theater humming some of those songs,” said Copeland, who sees “High School Musical” as an updated “Grease.”

The play boasts 28 people in the cast. Because of the popularity and good reputation of Hurrah, there is always a large turnout for auditions. “We always have between 120 to 200 people,” he said.

“It’s like the Olympics – the ones with the highest scores are the ones who are cast. Then, I go with it.”

It works. He has a list of about 50 young people who began their career with Hurrah and are working, and starring with, major theatrical productions.

The company also goes far afield, having performed in Washington , New York , Disney World and London.

“We do seven shows a year on main stages, usually the Roper Theater in downtown Norfolk,” Copeland said. “We also perform at many conventions. Recently, we did “High School Musical” before 400 juvenile court judges.

“High School Musical” won’t be the only Disney production at the Suffolk Center For the Cultural Arts. “Ralph’s World” will be offered on Nov. 22 as a part of Disney’s “Block Party.”

Frank Roberts,

FRoberts73@yahoo.com

Going?

What The Hurrah Players present, “High School Musical”

When 3 p.m. Sunday

Where Suffolk Center For Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney St.

Cost $20 for adults, $10 for students

Call 923-2300 About the play

The play is based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” as was “West Side Story.” The theme has to do with a young couple from opposite sides of the fence, both with pressure put on them to stay on their own side of the fence.

While they filter through their pressures, a lot of singing and dancing unfolds.

About the play

The play is based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” as was “West Side Story.” The theme has to do with a young couple from opposite sides of the fence, both with pressure put on them to stay on their own side of the fence.

While they filter through their pressures, a lot of singing, dancing unfolds.

Originally published by BY FRANK ROBERTS.

(c) 2008 Virginian – Pilot. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.