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Theater review: SCERA's 'Camp Rock' is 'High School Musical' camp

Published: Saturday, July 16 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

Julia Rae Sanchez, who stars as Mitchie Torres in "Disney Camp Rock The Musical," chats with her summer love interest, Shane Gray, played by Alex Lund.

Mark A. Philbrick

DISNEY CAMP ROCK THE MUSICAL; directed by Shawn M. Mortensen; SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre; Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., now through July 23; tickets $10 adults; 225-ARTS or visit www.scera.org; running time 2 hours, one intermission.

OREM — If you're a fan of the "High School Musical" television and movie series, you'll like "Disney Camp Rock The Musical."

If you found the simple shows and movies a yawner, you'll probably sleep through this as well.

"Disney Camp Rock The Musical" is geared at the tween/teen audience and never really tries to be anything more serious than a story about wannabee stars and their rival summer camp bees.

It's full of songs, dances, a little light romance and nothing more serious than a "Jets and Sharks" reality show competition between "Camp Rock" and "Camp Star." "Camp Star" threatens the existence of "Camp Rock" by poaching its counselors and clients.

The cast for this show is young, with the oldest being "Brown Cesario," played by Andy Kelson, and the youngest is maybe around 10.

The leads include Julia Rae Sanchez playing Mitchie Torres, Alex Lund playing her boyfriend/rock band star Shane Gray and McKenzie Florence playing Tess Tyler, a flippy, self-confident teen diva.

Florence has the best voice and carries off her part well.

James Murphy does a good job as Axel Turner, the leader of the bad kids from "Camp Star."

For the most part, the vocals are enjoyable, even if there are a couple of weak efforts, and the songs are fun, short and to the point.

The dialogue and delivery is somewhat choppy in places, but the actors are young, and what they lack in experience they make up in enthusiasm.

The dancing and choreography is pretty good, especially considering the large cast size.

The set is simple and colorful and allows for a lot of movement with fake rocks, fake trees and a fake lake.

Costumes are the fashion of the day with a lot of leggings, short skirts and bright colors.

Again, this show is watchable if you're young and into the genre. The 5-year-old with me loved the action, although she disagreed with the ending.

For a pleasant summer evening pastime in the shade and on the grass, here's a possibility.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 30 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com. Email: haddoc@desnews.com

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