“High School Musical Jr.” opens not once, but twice this summer beginning tonight at the Lewiston Civic Theatre.The theater typically produces one children’s show each summer, but this year they are offering two separate but related shows featuring two different casts. Around 75 kids, ages 16 and younger, are involved in “High School Musical Jr. 1,” opening tonight, and “High School Musical Jr. 2,” which opens Aug. 6.
“It was a way to get more kids cast without overcrowding the stage,” said Director Mel Syverson.
The show is much the same as the Disney movie and Broadway version that followed it, just shorter and adapted to younger players and audiences. That means no kissing, to the likely relief of some parents and younger audience members as well. The show is weighted toward singing and dancing rather than heavy dialogue. With a one-hour show, plus intermission time, it means the younger crowd can last the whole show and still make it back home by bedtime.
“It’s geared for kids,” Syverson said.“It’s fun, and they like seeing other kids on the stage.”
Not only does the annual summer children’s production typically play to a full house, Syverson said, but it’s a great way to introduce kids and families to theater. It’s not uncommon to have children show up at auditions because they watched kids their age on stage the season before.
If you go:
WHAT AND WHEN: “High School Musical Jr. 1” shows at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday, July 23-25 and 2 p.m. Sunday and July 26; “High School Musical Jr. 2” shows at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6-8, 13-15 and 2 p.m. Aug. 9 and 16
WHERE: Lewiston Civic Theatre, 805 Sixth Ave., Lewiston
COST: $14 adults, $12 seniors age 60 and older, $11 students with ID, $8 children 12 and younger. Tickets are available online at www.lctheatre.org or by calling the box office at (208) 746-3401.