Get your pom-poms out: High School Musical is hitting Halifax. Disney’s singing and dancing superhit opens at Neptune Theatre on Friday night.
“It’s incredibly high energy,” says Aaron Kyte, the Bridgewater native who stars as Troy Bolton. “(As an actor) you can’t really pace yourself, because you can’t save anything. You just give it and hope that it’s there for the next show, too.”
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Kyte, who played Sparky in Plaid Tidings last Christmas, says his first role was in a high school musical: Guys and Dolls.
“High school was a bit like the story — it’s where I discovered musical theatre,” Kyte says.
Had he gone to East High, he would have been watching the show. “I would have been a brainiac and a closet drama kid.”
Asked how old he is now, he laughs: “Not 17.”
Director David Connolly admits controlling a stage full of high school students isn’t easy.
“It feels like hundreds, but there are only 23 on stage,” he says during a pause in rehearsals. His head suddenly zips to the stage, as someone’s arm isn’t quite where it should be. He corrects the move and returns to the interview.
“I have to embody all 23 of them for the entire show. I breathe with all of them. I know when they’re in the zone and I know when they’re not,” he explains.
“That’s why live theatre is so exciting. It’s like watching figure skating: it’s art and sport and part of you hopes they fall,” he laughs. “In the audience, there’s a tiny part of you that’s like, ‘I don’t want them to fall, but there’s a risk of it.’ The audience is very much a part of this show.”