High school musicals used to attract parents and friends of the cast and crew, but as the Wall Street Journal tells us, the audience has expanded. The entire article is worth reading, but here is a taste:
With high-school musical season under way, moms and dads are cheering for their favorite Pippins, Annies and Tevyes in auditoriums across the country.
Buried in the crowd, trying to blend in, is a different sort: the adult with no connection to the school whatsoever….
Long a springtime ritual, the high-school musical has never been known widely as must-see entertainment. But high-school shows have become increasingly elaborate—with Broadway-worthy sets, local competitions for best actor and actress and R-rated choices like “Rent.” Fans seek out the student performances for cheap entertainment or a chance to see a musical that otherwise might not be performed locally. Some even follow the teenage thespians as though they were A-list stars….
How good are these shows?
It doesn’t really matter, said Scott Delman, a tough critic in his normal life. He has won four Tony Awards for producing such Broadway hits as “The Book of Mormon” and “Death of a Salesman” and sometimes attends secondary-school interpretations with business associates who want to show off a son or daughter. When he goes to a high-school show, “I don’t even focus on the quality,” he said. “I am swept away by the energy and the enthusiasm.” Occasionally he congratulates performers after a show, disclosing his day job so they know it is more than just a parent’s biased view.
So, don’t worry if you don’t know anyone in the upcoming Fayetteville High School production of Little Shop of Horrors. Just go to enjoy fun and reasonably priced entertainment.