Grove City High School's spring musical is an ambitious undertaking for the student cast, crew and musicians, according to its director.

Grove City High School's spring musical is an ambitious undertaking for the student cast, crew and musicians, according to its director.

"We have a really talented group of students this year and they are definitely up to the challenges this show presents," said English teacher Stefanie McConnell, who is directing the show.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 14, 15 and 16. Matinee performances are scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students and $5 for seniors. Admission is free for Top 55 Club members.

The cast is a good mix of veterans of past school plays and younger students whose talent bodes well for future productions, McConnell said.

"We have several kids who are upperclassmen and will be leaving this year or next, and they have impeccable voices," she said. "There's a wide range of singing in this show, and it requires the lead performers to sing both very high and very low. That's particularly difficult for high school-age students, but our kids are able to meet that challenge."

Technically, the production has more sets than the typical high school show, McConnell said.

"We've made a boat with an electric motor that actually moves across the stage, and there's a chandelier that falls from the ceiling to the stage," she said. "There are a lot of movable parts. It's a little scary."

The Phantom is played by senior Jacob Stuckert, who said he enjoyed the cast's exploration of the characters before starting rehearsals.

"We examined the details of the characters, not only in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, but in the original novel by Leroux," he said. "For me, it was interesting to explore how the Phantom is not just a 'bad guy.' "

The role requires an actor to simultaneously show the audience that the Phantom is evil yet sympathetic, Stuckert said.

"It's made me grow as an actor," he said.

Cast members have the confidence to delve into difficult shows like "Phantom" and last year's production of "Les Miserables" because of the confidence their teachers have in them, said junior Hannah Congrove, who portrays Christine Daae, the star soprano in the Phantom's operas.

"We know the teachers trust us and push our talent forward," she said. "They believe in us to go far in the challenging shows we've been doing."

As for this year's show, "I really, really, really like the music," Congrove said. "The songs sound sad and dark. They're not just bouncy show tunes."