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As the cast of "High School Musical" sang the big finale Friday night, you could feel the energy and joy flowing through the Welder Center.

Perhaps it helped that we sat next to the proud grandparents of Troy Bolton (aka Tad Cooley of Industrial), but I couldn't stop smiling from ear to ear as the cast sang and dance to the silly, sweet songs. Afterward, we had the pleasure of congratulating a couple of the cast members our daughter knew.

During intermission, we also saw Bernie Klimist beaming from ear to ear and told him his daughter, Kate, was wonderful as Sharpay. Klimist's wife, Laura, also handled the show's choreography, which propelled the show packed with one song-and-dance number after another.

We have kids the right age so I knew the songs and the plot from the 2006 movie that catapulted Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens to stardom. Most of my co-workers look at me like I'm crazy when I warble, "Get'cha Head in the Game," but I'm lucky to be young at heart. Our two amazing children help make that possible, reminding me every day of life's joys.

We regularly attend Victoria Community Theatre productions, but this show was as packed as we'd ever seen the Welder Center. If you missed one of the six shows, you still can read our "Get Out" cover story online.

I'm no theater critic, but I also want to mention some particular standout performances by Port Lavaca's Taylor Shelley as Gabriella, Victoria East's Heather Grosenbacher as Taylor, and Victoria's Brett Hagar, who may have stolen the show as Ryan. It also was exciting to see such a strong performance by one of the only grown-ups in the show, Karla Craft, who was making her Theatre Victoria debut as Mrs. Darbus.

If you were lucky enough to have seen the show, let me know your favorite number or actor. If you haven't been to a Theatre Victoria production, you might consider the message from "Stick to the Status Quo" and try something new.

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