Let's begin this review (of sorts) of last night's opening performance of Disney's "High School Musical" with a well-deserved pat on the back for ourselves. The Beat's HSM blog entry yesterday included a heads-up for folks sitting down front - John Jeffrey Martin (Troy) had told us that occasionally a basketball will find its way into the orchestra pit, so we warned "there's no telling how off-course they might go." And what happened during "Get'cha Head In the Game"? You guessed it. And it happened right in front of The Beat, no less. So one lucky young lady got a Wildcat b-ball to take home. Good catch, mom.

The next main point we'd like to make is the worst thing about the show. We know, we know. Just hear us out. We enjoyed the show so much more than the movie (about which we've always been lukewarm). How is this a bad thing? We can't take the live show home with us. If we want to watch it at home, we're resigned to the movie.

OK, on with a couple other thoughts: Many will disagree (including one youngster in The Beat's group), but the changes in the musical arrangements improved the songs greatly. We were most impressed with what they did to "When There Was Me and You," which turned a vanity piece into a full-on Broadway-style duet with backing chorus. We were similarly impressed with the script modifications and the minor changes in the dynamic of several characters. The comedy was very well conceived and performed, especially the detention scene. Also, as has become commonplace in Disney stage show, lots of clever references to other Disney properties - and one to the previous generation's HSM, "Saved by the Bell." We never cease to be amazed at the engineering and construction of the set. Everything with a purpose. No. everything with multiple purposes. Show-stealing performances from Ben Thompson as Zeke; Bobby List as Ryan; and Ellen Harvey as Ms. Darbus.

OK, enough from The Beat. Use the "Comment" feature below to add your thoughts, or email them to us at jfischer@thisweeknews.com.