Meet the actors bringing East High to Mt. A
The first High School Musical movie came out just before my fourth birthday. In fact, my first ever concert was High School Musical: The Concert, where Drew Seeley, the voice behind Troy Bolton’s vocals in the first movie, was performing in Zac Efron’s place. For many people my age and older, High School Musical was a memorable part of our childhoods. Even if you haven’t seen all the movies, you probably know a song or two.
From January 26 through 28, Mt. A’s Garnet & Gold Musical Theatre Society will grace Convocation Hall with their on-stage production of the beloved musical. I had the pleasure of speaking with leads Breagh Langille (Gabriella) and Ashton Leal (Troy) about the upcoming shows and what we can expect to see.
Langille, a second-year biology major, fondly remembers watching the second movie with her sisters and creating dances for the songs. “We always watched the second one,” she says.
Langille will be playing Gabriella Montez, who fittingly was the favourite character of her younger self. Though admittedly, “[she felt] like ‘little Breagh’ liked Gabriella because [her sister] liked Sharpay, and [they] couldn’t like the same character.”
“Before I auditioned for the show I had never seen [the movie],” says Leal, a second-year biology major. “I remember being in Jennings when I was cast as Troy and I was like ‘who’s Troy?’” he recalls. For all the devout fans out there, don’t worry, Leal has done his research.
“Now I know the story and I’ve seen all the movies. It’s super cheesy and awesome,” he says.
Like many other theatre productions and extracurriculars at Mt. A, this production was put on hold because of COVID-19. “Last year we had rehearsals right up until January, when COVID got bad,” says Leal. “It’s been interesting learning the lines, and then re-learning the lines,” he continues. Unlike Leal, Langille joined the production this academic year. “I wasn’t actually Gabriella last year,” she says. “I already knew the cast […], so it wasn’t hard to come into it, but it definitely felt a bit funny at first.”
After hearing both Leal and Langille gush about their fellow castmates, it is clear that the community within Garnet & Gold is something special. “Everyone is just so nice and so fun, it’s a really good dynamic,” says Langille. “They aren’t people you have to worry would judge you, everyone’s so friendly […] and easy to get along with,” she continued. If you were lucky enough to be at the Pond during Garnet & Gold’s Karaoke fundraiser earlier this month, you’d have seen the cast and crew’s camaraderie first hand. It was palpable from the audience how much love they have, not only for the show, but for each other.
If you are looking for something to do this weekend, go see High School Musical: On Stage! “It’s gonna be lots of fun with lots of songs that everyone knows….even I knew them and I didn’t watch the movies,” jokes Leal. Tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite. To learn more about Garnet & Gold Musical Theatre Society, visit @garnetgoldmusical on Instagram.