Disney ‘High School’ hit now a stage show

Pop quiz: What is the name of the hit Disney movie which is now a made-for-musical-theater production that is coming to Seattle for an exclusive engagement?

You got that right. “Disney’s High School Musical” opens tonight and runs through Nov. 24 at Seattle Children’s Theatre.

With book by David Simpatico and based on the Disney Channel original movie written by Peter Barsocchini, the stage version has all the feel-good songs from the movie that help weave the story of teenagers learning life’s lessons at East High.

Troy and Gabriella run in different circles: He’s a jock and she’s a brain. But they both love to sing, so the two try out for the school musical. Sharpay, the school’s reigning musical diva, doesn’t like what’s going on. So she and her brother go behind the scenes to schedule the play’s callbacks for the same time as Troy’s big game and Gabriella’s scholastic decathlon. In the end, the whole school finds a way to allow these two to break from the status quo and shine.

The soundtrack from “High School Musical” was the most commercially successful album of 2006. The stage musical includes two new songs: “Counting On You” and “Cellular Fusion.” The show is recommended for ages 8 and older.

“To Kill a Mockingbird”: Intiman Theatre is all about giving the customers what they want, so the customers are getting more of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Seattle theater group has extended its run of the classic production through Nov. 8 because of audience demand and strong ticket sales.

This American Cycle production of Harper Lee’s book, adapted by Christopher Sergel and directed by Fracaswell Hyman, is set in Alabama in the 1930s and focuses on lawyer Atticus Finch who is defending Tom Robison, a black man accused of raping a white woman. The story is told through the eyes of Atticus’ daughter, Scout, and reveals deep truths about the Deep South.

Also, Intiman has announced the first lineup for its 2008 season. In addition to these plays, the season will include one additional production to be announced later. All plays are subject to change:

“All the King’s Men”: The American Cycle production of Robert Penn Warren’s novel about politics.

“The Diary of Anne Frank”: The Nazi regime as seen through the eyes of 13-year-old Anne.

“The Little Dog Laughed”: A comedy about Hollywood ambition by Douglas Carter Beane.

“Namaste Man (Lost and Found in Kathmandu)”: A world premiere written and performed by Andrew Weems about being an artist and going home.

“Snow Falling on Cedars”: The historical framework, along with delicious unraveling secrets and a forbidden love affair, made this a compelling book that explored the effects of war, the issue of race and the dynamic between prejudice and justice.

This compelling story is now a stage production that opens with pay-what-you-will previews Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and with an opening night Sept. 21 at Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle.

This world-premiere production is based on the book by Northwest author David Guterson. The book has all but become required reading for anyone living in the Pacific Northwest.

The year is 1954 and the setting is the San Juan Islands. Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese-American, is on trial for killing a fellow fisherman. The book follows the trial which brings to light the circumstances surrounding the fishermen’s death but also reveals a forbidden love and the secrets of a community that looked away when their neighbors were sent to internment camps.

The story is adapted and directed by Kevin McKeon, who was drawn to the book’s visual and sensual scenes and who leaves much of Guterson’s narrative alone, using it as dialogue by the characters. “Snow Falling on Cedars” features 13 actors playing more than 30 characters.

“10th Annual Women Playwrights Festival”: Seattle Repertory Theatre and Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island, are presenting this festival of the written word.

The event runs Thursday through Sept. 20 in the PONCHO Forum at Seattle Rep.

This annual word party features some new plays and playwrights from around the country. The festival will feature new works from Ellen McLaughlin, Naomi Iizuka, Caridad Svich and Kathleen Tolan.

This year’s plays:

Untitled: by Ellen McLaughlin, 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Based on a true incident, the story is of an unidentified veteran who suffers from amnesia. When his photo appears in newspapers, it triggers almost a national hysteria of grieving families trying to claim him.

“Ghostwritten”: by Naomi Iizuka, 4 p.m. Sept. 21. A twist on the Rumpelstiltskin fable: An American woman who was hitchhiking through Southeast Asia strikes a bargain with a mysterious stranger. Twenty years later, the woman is an acclaimed chef and a life more successful than she ever imagined. But the stranger from her past reappears.

“Lucinda Caval”: by Caridad Svich, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22. Suspense follows a woman who searches for her missing brother while a blind architect dreams of an imagined past reconstructed from censored shards of books.

“Captivity Narrative”: by Kathleen Tolan, 4 p.m. Sept. 23. An aging early American literature professor, a new professor of world literature and a college student find themselves navigating the intricacies of academia, legacies of violence and loss, and a dangerous love.

“Knock ‘em Dead”: With six different endings, this murder mystery will keep you sleuthing until the final suspect screams “I did it!”

The comedy by Tom Oldendick and Will Roberson opens tonight at the Stillaguamish Grange in Stanwood and runs through Oct. 6, with two Saturday dinner shows.

The plot has all heck breaking loose when five outrageous contestants show up at Vinnie’s “Belly Laugh Club” for a talent competition. And these are not your ordinary contestants. One is a ventriloquist with moving lips. Another is a foul-mouthed stand-up comic. Then there’s the baton-twirling bimbo, the flamboyant owner of a lip-synching poodle, a chanteuse with a questionable accent and a hypnotist with a twitch. They all vie for the grand prize. But when Vinnie turns up dead, they go from contestants to suspects.

“Crime and Punishment”: This production is being presented by one of the newest theater companies around Seattle, Theater Under Ground, which is relatively new but enjoying so much success with this Russian classic that the theater has extended its performances into October.

The show is in a four-month run with sold-out performances and continues at Capitol Hill Arts Center through Oct. 14.

“Blue Virgins”: Tom Churchill’s new play opens Friday at Whidbey Children’s Theatre and runs through Sept. 23.

This comic romance involves a man who has lost his job as a labor consultant at a large corporation. Then, Darien Ramsey rekindles an old hobby: chainsaw carving blue Madonnas. He then hocks the pieces to lonely wives in rural Wisconsin during deer hunting season. For mature audiences.

Rob Levine photo

The cast of “Disney’s High School Musical,” opening today at Seattle Children’s Theatre.

Chris Bennion photo

Keaton Whittaker (left) and David Bishins star in “To Kill A Mockingbird” at Intiman Theatre.

“To Kill a Mockingbird”: 8 tonight, Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St., Seattle. Through Nov. 8. $27 to $50, 206-269-1900, www.intiman.org.

“Snow Falling on Cedars”: previews at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Center House Theatre, 305 Harrison St., Seattle. Through Oct. 14. $15 to $32, 206-216-0833, www.book-it.org.

“10th Annual Women Playwrights Festival”: 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sept. 23, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle. $10, four-play pass $30. 206-443-2222, 877-900-9285, www.seattlerep.org.

“Knock ‘em Dead”: 7:30 tonight, Stillaguamish Grange, 6521 Pioneer Highway, Stanwood. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 6 with dinner theater option Sept. 22 and 29. Show $10, dinner and show $25, at Snow Goose Bookstore, 8616 271st St., NW, Stanwood, or 360-629-4494. Advance purchase required for dinner theater; www.camwoodplayers.com.

“Crime and Punishment”: Through Oct. 14, Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave., Seattle. $20 and $25, 206-388-0569, www.capitolhillarts.com.

“Blue Virgins”: 7:30 tonight, Whidbey Children’s Theatre, 222 Anthes Ave., Suite 102, Langley. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 23. $10, 360-221-8707.

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