And you can see them this weekend before they close

NORTH COUNTY — Templeton and Paso Robles high schools are both in the middle of their Spring musical runs. Paso Robles Press was in the audience of both of their shows opening weekend, and a completely delightful experience was had at both productions.

Paso Robles High School (PRHS) is currently in the midst of its run of the teen edition of “Chicago.” The much-loved musical is set in the 1920s and delves into the idea of the celebrity of crime and is a satire on the justice system. The musical originally opened on Broadway in 1975, and was revived in 1996 and has stayed ever since. The production’s run makes it the record holder for longest-running revival and American musical on Broadway. 

The teen version keeps all the angst we know and love, but edits out things that might not be appropriate for younger audiences and also transposes keys of some of the songs. That being said, it doesn’t shy away from much of the original content, including Bob Fosse’s choreography.


“I wanted to make sure the choreography of Bob Fosse was something the students were exposed to,” said drama teacher and director Marcy Goodnow of why she picked the production. “I also really liked how the teen edition was put together. It is respectful to the original script and takes out any references that could offend younger actors and audiences.” 

There were 84 students that made up the cast and crew of PRHS’s “Chicago,” and each and every one brought their talent to the stage, whether it was behind the scenes or front and center on stage. The cast also utilized the whole theater and came out into the audience on multiple occasions, making it an immersive experience.

“It’s really great,” said Danika Nutile, who played a wonderful Velma Kelly. “Honestly, we have a great company with great people , and it’s really easy to make connections with everyone, whether they’re in the cast or the crew, because we have opportunities to connect.” 

The cast was extremely talented and pulled off Bob Fosse’s choreography style while giving their own flavor to their roles. Leads Nutile; Alyssa Wesley, who played Roxie Hart; and Shane Mullinix, who played Billy Flynn; told the paper that even though they were lightly familiar with the musical, they all had some studying to do before they auditioned, including watching the 2002 film version.

“I think one of my favorite things about playing Roxie is how much fun you get to have with the character and how many choices you get to make, because there are so many scenes and songs where I get to have a little bit of creative freedom,” stated Wesley.

Mullinix said that he had a great time playing con artist Billy Flynn and that playing with the character’s on-and-off switch was a lot of fun. And it showed on stage. In fact, all three leads and the rest of the company shined brightly on stage, and it wasn’t just because of the costumes.

You can see the students’ hard work for yourself on Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 28, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at

Local high schools bring big Broadway hits to the North County

Meanwhile, over at Templeton High School, its drama department is bringing the hits of ABBA to the area with their take on “Mamma Mia!” The musical originally made its splash onto the West End in London in 1999, where it has had a continual streak, except for a pause during COVID. It was also the longest-running jukebox musical on Broadway, with a movie version being released in 2008.

From the audience, you could tell that the cast and crew of the musical were having a blast on stage. You could feel the camaraderie, and the whole show felt like a party that you were lucky enough to be invited to.

“I keep telling them (the cast) it’s like working on the best group project I’ve ever been a part of,” said director and drama teacher Stephanie LeClair, who took over for Catherine Kingsbury this year. “Everybody really wants the group project to be amazing. No one wants to sit back and let somebody else do all the heavy lifting. They are all in every day. And they’re eager to have a really good experience and they’re being wonderful to each other. It’s pretty fantastic.”

The musical tells the story of a white wedding being turned on its head when the bride invites three men to the ceremony … all of which could be her father. 

“It was so amazing to be part of this show because it has just come together so greatly that it’s just a big confidence boost knowing that I’m part of this,” said Ella Simonin, who played bride Sophie Sheridan. “My favorite part was definatly her (Sophie’s) loudness, because it’s something that I can relate to about her. I’m very loud and I was able to communicate that in the character.”

The cast not only was having the time of its life on stage, but also told a heartfealt and fun story with the performers’ acting chops and their vocals, reminding everyone in the audience just how many bangers ABBA has under its belt.

“There’s lots of fun little moments that we have that really aren’t seen much, but it’s still really great,” said Tiffany Viveros of her work in the ensemble.

“This has definitely been my favorite show, and it’s just been a really amazing experience for me, and I would not have asked for a better cast, show, director, and everything,” added Frances van den Eikhof, who played Sophie’s mother, Donna Sheridan.

The actors on stage got to play with a range of roles beyond their teen years, but they handled it so well that sometimes you don’t remember that there was a bunch of students on stage.

“Singing about romance and divorce and all that stuff. It’s super heartfelt and it’s super fun,” said William Wallace, who played Sam Charmichael, one of Sophie’s potential fathers.

You can catch some fun and sun on the Greek coast on Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m.; Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, April 27, at 4 p.m. To purchase tickets, go to

Featured Image: The company of the teen edition of Chicago performs “Me and My Baby.” Photo by Christianna Marks.

Second image: (From left) Kalynn Ames (Rosie), Frances van den Eikhof (Donna Sheridan), and Anais Diaz (Tanya) play Donna and the Dynamos in Templeton High School’s “Mamma Mia!” Photo Courtesy of Templeton Drama Department