The words “high school musical” may conjur images of kids trying hard to act and sing with parents and friends putting a happy face on it.

Not when the production it’s a Calabasas High School production. When I photographed this spring’s production of “Chicago” I had to remind myself that these performers were high school kids.

Everything was polished and professional, from the direction, choreography, lighting and staging to the acting, dancing and singing.

On opening night, actress Renee Zellweger, who played Roxy Hart in the film version, was in the audience. She was so impressed she went backstage afterward and spent two hours with the cast and crew.

It was night they’ll never forget. Nor I.

Birns Millennium Connector photographed by Bass Images
Birns Millennium Connector photographed by Bass Images
Birns Millennium Connector photographed by Bass Images