Pelican Productions. Norwood Concert Hall. 2 Aug 2018
It’s a corny old American high school musical about goodies, baddies, loyalty, integrity, jealousy and, rah, rah, rah, cheerleaders.
But, as it is played out by Pelican Productions in Adelaide, it is about South Australia’s talent pool. And here’s the big rah, rah, rah.
Our cup runneth over.
The young people in this large cast are bursting not just with ability but with discipline and dedication.
And the principals shine out with star quality.
This company has become a heartland for the cultivation and exposure of the upcoming generation of theatre workers.
The whole show has the glossy sheen of professionalism, from the orchestra to the sets, lighting and costumes.
The choreography finessed by Carla Papa is very bright and clever, many of the routines quite inspired combinations of good, accessible dance moves. Done with the sort of precision imbued in these many young dancers, they look really impressive. And, unfailingly, the stage is filled with performers with bright, uplifting smiles and eyes to the audience.
Behind the scenes are producers Jen Frith and Kylie Green with Adam Goodburn as director, Roseanne Hosking as vocal musical director and Peter Johns running the music. There are guitars and keyboards and drums beautifully balanced with the vocals.
Beyond the athletic ensemble work and the shows of acrobatics, there is the serious talent, the city’s upcoming awards potential. Sean Jackson was singled out for a Best Young Performer gig in the 2017 Pelican production and, once again, as the show trans, La Cienega, he is utterly engaging, a lovely personality thrusting forth amid the accomplished song and dance.
The principal female leads are Scarlett Anthony and Stephanie Cole who seem just about ready to step onto the Broadway stage; marvellous characterisations as the contrasting school rivals and top notch song and dance and even gymnastics from both.
Then there is Billie Turner who rises from geeky big girl to a veritable red hot mama; a powerful voice and personality.
Among the excellent supporting cast there shines Julian Perrini, Eve Green, Sophie Morris, Hannah Hamilton, Finnegan Green, Katie Olsson, Lachlan Zilm and Jack Conroy.
Watch for these names. They are going places.
And Pelican Productions, all power to them, are helping them to get there.
When: 2 to 5 Aug
Where: Norwood Concert Hall