In August, not one, but two productions of High School Musical hit Chicago. Which made us wonder: what was high school really like for the actors? We dialed up the basketball-dribbling songbird Troy from the Disney version (at the LaSalle Theatre through September 2nd; for tickets, 312-902-1400) and from the Emerald City Theatre show (at Victory Gardens through August 11th; 773-871-3000).
|Actor||Résumé||Jock or Geek?||Detention?||Cafeteria Seat?||Yearbook Picture?|
|Kevin Hoffman, 18, stars in Emerald City’s teen production.||Twenty plays at Naperville Central High, from where he just graduated. Off to Millikin University in Decatur in fall||“Everyone knows [that] jocks rule the school; theatre kids aren’t generally popular. So in the show I’m going to be the almost opposite of what I was in high school.”||“Nope, not once, and I’m very proud of that. I’ve come close, though.”||“The theatre table, but not senior year because we had off-campus lunch. My first semester, freshman year, I hung out with skateboarder kids, but then I met theatre kids.”||“Oh my gosh! It was horrible. My chin is touching my chest, my whole face is stretched out; it doesn’t even look like me. I know it’s supposed to be a big deal. But it’s funny. I’d rather be funny than boring.”|
|John Jeffrey Martin, 28, stars in the Broadway in Chicago version.||Broadway productions of Good Vibrations, Hairspray, and Rocky Horror. Studied musical theatre at Syracuse University||“I was connected to all these different groups. I wasn’t a sports star but I played soccer, track, baseball, and basketball, and I was in theatre.”||“I was usually very good. I never got detentions. I got in a fight in fifth grade once.”||“Our table centered around heavy metal and rock ‘n’ roll. We had a nickname, Club 45, because my cousin lived at 45 Lake Road, and his mother, my aunt, let us all hang out there.”||“I was wearing a blazer and tie and I had longer hair, down to my cheeks. It was parted in the middle.”
Photography: (Martin) Joan Marcus, (Hoffman) Lisao Predko