My wife, Laurie Walton, is head of performing arts at the Riverdale YM-YHWA here in the Bronx, and she is always searching for a show that will be successful for the program and fun for her teen group, The Riverdale Rising Stars. The kids always enjoy doing new shows with contemporary music and the parents enjoy comedies, and the director likes a show with a lot roles to please the kids AND the parents. But, honestly, how many times can you do FOOTLOOSE, GREASE, ZOMBIE PROM and Disney’s HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL?
I realized that the ‘70s haven’t had too many shows set in that era yet, and while I grew up in this decade, somehow it is now a “period piece?!” The clothes, the hair, the lingo, the music, the dances - all are fun for kids and are ripe for parody now. While HSM-73 isn’t QUITE a parody of the shows and movies listed above, it’s very close! The musical gives the kids a chance to be almost caricatures, in a Saturday Night Live sketch kind of way, but the show also has some sweet moments as well. Sadly, the theme of a school losing it’s funding and having to close is very real today.