Area students highlight \High School Musical

Academy of Holy Names sophomore Alexa Veeder plays the female lead, Gabriella, and says the experience has been amazing,

"I love it, it's been so much fun. It is a great cast that works well together. With so many of us from all over it's been interesting to see how well we have all come together," said Veeder.

Veeder has performed with the Park Playhouse II and the Green Room Players.

"This is my first time at the Cohoes Music Hall and I have learned so much here," said Veeder.

Augie Abatecola of Hudson High School is playing the male lead, Troy. Abatecola is a junior who has previously performed in "Ragtime" for C-R Productions. He said the experience has been not only exciting but he has learned a lot as well.

"I had no ides how much I would get out of this unbelievable cast. I have met so many great kids and the whole experience has exceeded my expectations," said Abatecola.

Other members of the cast include Shenendehowa's Cara O'Brien, Colleen Trainor, Tommy Swimm, Kasey Scanlon and Christina Manion; Brittanie La France of Saratoga High School, and Olivia Baaches of Shaker High School.

Rivera said that through the play, the audience has a chance to feel more involved with the characters.

"The kids really seem to get the message in this show. The casting for the play came at a time when there was so much negativity in the news about our schools, like the schoolhouse shooting in Pennsylvania. We had so many calls from people in our community saying they were happy to see the theater bring such a positive light and outlet for our children," said Rivera.

Rivera said he was overwhelmed by the response to this show and he is impressed by the amount of talent in the Capital District.

"Each part in the show had two or three students who a good fit, it was hard to choose," said Rivera,

The show will run Thursday and Friday, Feb. 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Reserved seats are required. Ticket prices range from $20 to $30. For information, cal 237-5858 or visit the Web site at cohoesmusichall.com. ""

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