The Voice

What Team? Corbin Bleu!

Heather Kenyon
Corbin Bleu with PHS cast of "In the Heights"

Robyn Naragon, Opinions Editor

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If you happened to be at Pres on Friday Nov. 15, then you probably noticed the massive line of Pres girls outside the Valenzuela Theater after In the Heights. This excitement was all due to the special guest appearance of a beloved Disney star, Corbin Bleu.

Why in the world was Corbin Bleu at Pres? Well, all it took was a brave woman who decided to make a phone call. Natalie Stevens, mother of Logan Stevens–who starred as Usnavi in the Presentation production–decided to call Corbin and his management one day and, surprisingly, he said yes.

Performing arts director Jim Houle said, “I’ll believe it when he’s here,” when Stevens first announced the news. And sure enough, Stevens picked Bleu up from the airport on Friday and they brought the cast a once in a lifetime experience.

While the cast was rehearsing the number “Alabanza” on stage, they did not realize that Bleu was listening in the wings. According to Houle, Bleu turned to him in the hallway and asked, “Is that the recording?” When Bleu walked on stage, the flattery continued.

The cast and crew gathered around as Bleu made his way onto the stage to greet the company. “We were all kind of nervous about what kind of person he was going to be, but when he came in he shook every single cast member and crew member’s hand,” said senior Alyssa Nowlen, who starred as Daniela. “I thought it was awesome that someone who has been through so much is still very humble and wants to be on our level. He didn’t think he was high above us.”

Bleu began talking with the company about his experiences both on broadway and off. “They told me that they were doing a production out here and they called me,” said Bleu. “I was beginning “Dancing with the Stars” and didn’t know if I could make it over there but I really wanted to.”

According to Bleu he has not seen a production of In the Heights since he was in it and wearing the same hat and shirt as Logan Stevens now wore before him. “Mine might have just been slightly bigger,” Bleu added.

“I love doing film and television, but there’s nothing like getting that live reaction from the audience and connecting with each other,” Bleu told the group. In the Heights was Bleu’s first Broadway show–he mentioned how special the show is because of the connection it gives everyone together.

“It is all about family,” said Bleu. “Just remember to connect on this stage together, because if you guys love each other, they will feel it. Live, have fun, and enjoy it.”

Bleu commended the set and hard work of the Pres company and shared his opening night experience of In the Heights. “I don’t remember it,” claimed Bleu. “I was so excited and worried–it was my first time on Broadway– and then it finished and I remember telling myself, “I gotta remember my bow,” and thought “this is cool”.”

“Always remember to have fun,” Bleu told the group. “I have to remember that when I’m on Dancing with the Stars.”

As before every show, the cast came together five minutes before the show started for energy circle. But this energy circle was on stage with Bleu. The curtains opened to reveal the pre-show ritual and the audience screamed when they saw Bleu. And if that wasn’t enough, Bleu got the crowd even more pumped by leading the famous High School Musical “Wildcat” cheer.

According to the audience members that reported to Houle after the show, Bleu and his girlfriend, Sasha Clements, were seated in the center of the theater with their heads bobbing to every beat. Bleu was the first to stand up at the end of the show and stayed on campus for two and a half hours after the show ended.

Bleu met every person from the audience that waited in line then moved into the Center for a gala with the cast, crew and their families. He and Clements survived the endless line of pictures and autographs, while never losing their smiles.

This may not have been the first celebrity on the Presentation campus, but it sure was a night to remember. Bleu’s trip to see a small high school’s production of In the Heights will forever have these students cheering, “What team?! Wildcats! Get your head in the game!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Team? Corbin Bleu!