For this year's annual Family show, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre chose Disney High School Musical. The plot deals with high school cliques, pressure to succeed and balancing of diverse interests. But this is certainly not a serious drama. Perky songs and choreographed dance numbers keep things moving quickly and over-the-top drama queens provide comic relief.
The show features only two adult roles, which means decades of experience is not in the cards for most of the cast. Productions that depend so heavily on young actors can be tricky, but B&B manages it with ease. The cast brings a freshness and energy to the show that's infectious.
Gabriella, played by Jessica Ann Murphy, has both a beautiful voice and a natural ease, which makes her performance believable. She and her co-star, Tim Barsten (Troy), work well together. They have great stage chemistry.
Scenic designer Michael Layton turns a movie, that moves throughout an entire high school, into a single set production. The simple design allowed the stage to become a gym, auditorium stage, science lab and more during the show.
My own brother, Tim Hills, whose passion for theater rivals my own, assisted Layton in the design. Tim, 18, is a student at Brownsburg High School. He has Cerebral Palsy, which makes performing difficult and so he has chosen to fuel his creativity into set design. This show was the first time he had the opportunity to work with a professional theater.
This popular show provides good, clean entertainment and is a great opportunity to take teens to the theater. So whether you're new to the High School Musical phenomenon or a long-time fan, the show is a fun night for the whole family.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until July 18. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The buffet is served from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. For Wednesday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m. For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $35 to $58 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet. This production offers $10 discounts on tickets for kids ages 3-15.
Photos Courtesy of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre