This month, the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati unveils its most ambitious — and perhaps best-selling — production to date: Disney’s High School Musical.

No less than New York Times drama critic Charles Isherwood, writing of the High School Musical mania last month, noted that “New religions do not arise every day. ... What began as a mere made-for-television movie (on the Disney Channel, yet) has grown quickly into an international phenomenon both commercial and spiritual, at least for tweenage youngsters (mostly girls). ... High School Musical is essentially derived from a previous mythology promulgated in the latter days of the 20th century. Namely, Grease.”
It’s the story of high school jock Troy and brainiac Gabriella, who join forces to star in their school musical. But you don’t have to be a high schooler to relate to this production.

“High School Musical has universal appeal,” says Jack Louiso, Artistic Director of the Children’s Theatre and director of the show. “This isn’t just a show for children. Entire families can enjoy this show together. It’s a mix of wholesomeness, high-energy dance and fun upbeat music – adults and kids alike seem to know every word.”

So as the stage of the Taft Theater comes alive with the lyrics of “We’re All In This Together,” the theater’s accounting department will be singing “We’re in the Money.” Already, observes Louiso: “by choosing to stage Disney’s High School Musical, our subscriptions have gone through the roof and our ticket sales are poised to break every record.”
Some 6,000 season subscription tickets have already been snapped up, adds Krista Katona Pille, marketing director for the Children’s Theatre. And that’s no mere kid stuff.
 
Disney’s High School Musical will be presented at the Taft Theatre, 5th and Sycamore Sts., at 7:30 p.m. on Fri., Oct. 26, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 27, 2 and 5 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 28, and 7:30 p.m. on Fri., Nov. 2. (Eight additional performances are performed for school groups during the daytime.) Tickets are $7 to $18. The season continues Dec. 7-9 with Seussical Jr., followed early next year by Robin Hood and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Season subscriptions for all four shows are $28 to $64. Call 513/569-8080, ext. 10, or www.thechildrenstheatre.com