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Donna English and Patrick Boll Join Hanks in Paper Mill's 'High School Musical'; Full Casting Announced

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Artistic Director, Mark W. Jones-Executive Director) will present Paper Mill’s premiere of Disney High School Musical. Paper Mill’s Artistic Director, Mark S. Hoebee will direct and Denis Jones (Associate Choreographer of Legally Blonde) will choreograph.  Disney High School Musical is based on the Emmy Award® winning Disney Channel hit musical and triple-platinum selling soundtrack.  Disney High School Musical will run at the Millburn theatre from November 5 through December 7, 2008.  Disney High School Musical is sponsored by RBC Wealth Management.

Disney High School Musical will play the following performance schedule: Wednesdays at 7:30PM, Thursdays at 2:00PM & 7:30PM, Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 2:00PM & 8:00PM and Sundays at 2:00PM & 7:30PM.  Single tickets are now on sale and range in price from $25 to $92.  Student rush tickets are $20 and are available the day of performance in person with current student ID. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at  Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.  Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 35% discount on tickets and should call 973-379-3636 ext. 2438.

Disney High School Musical is a contemporary Romeo and Juliet musical comedy.  Troy, captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella, a shy academically gifted transfer student discover they share a secret passion for singing.  When they audition together for the lead roles in the school musical, it threatens East High’s rigid social order and sends their peers into an uproar.  The “jocks”, “brainiacs”, and “thespians” hatch convoluted plots to separate the pair and keep them off the stage.  However, by taking chances and defying expectations, the couple inspires other students to explore and showcase their own hidden talents.

Disney High School Musical brings a sensational cast to the Paper Mill stage.  Chase Peacock (Troy Bolton) was in the national tour of High School Musical. His other theatre credits include: Les Miserables and ‘Linus’ in You’re in High School, Charlie Brown for which he wrote the score.  Sydney Morton (Gabriella Montez) has performed in West Side Story at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and Seven Brides, Miss Saigon, and White Christmas at The St. Louis Muny Theatre.  Bailey Hanks (Sharpay Evans) is the winner of the MTV reality series ‘Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods’ and she comes to us directly from the Broadway production of Legally Blonde.  Ms. Hanks’ theatre credits include: Seussical; Gypsy; Hello, Dolly!; The Music Man; A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum; and Annie.  In 2000 she sang the national anthem for President Bill Clinton. The South Carolina native and former Miss Liberty Teen 2005 studied musical theatre at Coastal Carolina University. Logan Hart (Ryan Evans) has performed in the national tour of Circle of Life Review and performed internationally in Broadway Rhythm Review.  Mr. Hart’s additional theatre credits include: Alter Boyz, Parade, Seven Brides, Little Women, Footloose, Pippin, and Pirates of Penzance. Donna English (Ms. Darbus) returns to Paper Mill after last performing in Meet Me In St. Louis (2007), Harold and Maude (2005), The Sound of Music (2003) and Secret Garden (1995).  Ms. English performed on Broadway in George Abbott’s play Broadway.  Her additional New York credits include: The Gig, Forbidden Broadway SVU: Special Victims Unit, Taking a Chance on Love, Ruthless (Drama Desk Award Nomination), and the revival of Company.   Patrick Boll (Coach Bolton) has performed on Broadway in: Faith Healer, Twentieth Century, Hedda Gabler, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Death of a Salesman and Off-Broadway in Henry and Mudge.  His television credits include: ‘Law and Order, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’, and ‘As the World Turns’.  Most recently Mr. Boll can be seen in the film Burn After Reading.  Additional principles include: Krystal Joy Brown (Taylor McKessie), Justin Keyes (Chad Danforth), Joseph Morales (Jack Scott), Stephanie Pam Roberts (Kelsi Neilson), and Sean Samuels (Zeke Baylor).

Rounding out the Disney High School Musical cast are: Deanna Aguinaga, Adrian Arrieta, Kristy Cavanaugh, Brittany Conigatti, Beth Crandall, Charity DeLoera, Dean deLuna, Sean Ewing, Zach Frank, Taylor Frey, Marissa Joy Ganz, Spencer Kiely, Sam Kiernan, Victoria Meade, Christopher Messina, Joline Mujica, Dennis Necsary, Krista Pioppi, Jessica Rochwarger, Dante Russo, and Becca Tobin.

Disney High School Musical will be directed by Paper Mill’s Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee, a director and choreographer whose work has been seen at theaters all over North America.  Last season he directed Paper Mill’s critically acclaimed production of Meet Me in St. Louis.  Mr. Hoebee directed the Actor’s Fund Benefit Concert of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the August Wilson Theatre which starred Terrence Mann, Emily Skinner and Jennifer Hudson.  Mr. Hoebee has directed five companies of Victor/Victoria including the first national tour starring Grammy Award® winner Toni Tennille, Almost Like Being in Love: An Evening of Lerner and Loewe which toured the United States and Canada starring Diahann Carroll and national tours of Dreamgirls starring Frenchie Davis and Company. At Paper Mill he has helmed productions Hello, Dolly! starring Tovah Feldshuh, Harold and Maude: The Musical starring Estelle Parsons, The King and I starring Kevin Gray and Carolee Carmello, The Will Rogers Follies starring John Davidson and in 2002 Mr. Hoebee was granted special permission from Sir Cameron Macintosh to direct an all-new production of Miss Saigon for Paper Mill’s stage.

Choreographer Denis Jones returns to Paper Mill Playhouse where he last choreographed Meet Me in St. Louis.  Mr. Jones recently served as Dance Coach/Associate Choreographer on the MTV reality series ‘Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods’. Mr. Jones choreographed the Broadway concerts of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, A Wonderful Life, and On the Twentieth Century, and Legends, starring Joan Collins, all benefiting the Actor’s Fund of America.  Mr. Jones was the Director of Broadway Bares from 2005 to 2007.  Denis is the Associate Choreographer to Jerry Mitchell for Broadway’s Legally Blonde and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. 

The music director for Disney High School Musical is Bruce Coyle. Stephen Cowles will serve as the Scenic Coordinator. Costume design is by Brian Hemesath.  Lighting design is by Tom Sturge. Sound design is by Randy Hansen. Hair and wig design is by Charles LaPointe. The Production Stage Manager is Jess Speaker.

Paper Mill Playhouse, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theatres. Paper Mill’s programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is provided by funding through a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, the National Endowment for the Arts, and generous contributions from many corporations, foundations, and individuals. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Photo Credit Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

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