Amit Farkash, who plays Gabriella, has already had a brush with notoriety, but it was 15 minutes of fame that she would trade back in a second if she could. Her older brother Tom, who served in the IAF as helicopter gunship pilot, was killed during the Second Lebanon War when his chopper crashed near Safed. A childhood friend of the slain pilot composed a song in his honor and asked Amit to sing it. The song, "A Million Stars," which received extensive radio play and was performed on many occasions throughout the war, became a haunting symbol of loss. When Farkash enlisted in the army, she also chose the air force and currently performs in the air force entertainment troupe. The Canadian-born Farkash, whose Israeli parents moved back here when she was eight, said that she knew she was perfect for the part of Gabriella as soon as she heard about the Hebrew version of High School Musical. "I have a little sister at home and she loves the movie. So I knew what it was. I saw it when it first came to Israel - and then saw it another 10 or 15 times. I dragged all my friends to see it. It's classic but modern Walt Disney - love, songs and music - there's nothing not to love about it," she said. "When I heard about the auditions, I immediately jumped at it. All my life, it was clear to me that I wanted to appear on stage. I said there's no way I'm not going to be in this, and there's no way I'm not going to play the lead role of Gabriella." For Idan Ashkenazi, from Tel Aviv, who plays Gabriella's beau Troy, the drive might not have been so forceful, but the talent and the looks were just as decisive. "The role really fits him - he's like the Israeli version of Troy," gushes Farkash playfully, referring to his tousled hair and winning smile. The posters on the walls of the rehearsal room - Ashkenazi's home turf - which display him in various productions with his scout theater troupe, bear that out. "And you're the Israeli version of Gabriella," Ashkenazi retorted. "No, you're really similar to him - the same moves. And anyway, I'm not smart like Gabriella," answers Farkash. Ashkenazi, who has just finished high school, is expecting a winter induction, but may delay it depending on the success of the show. He's looking forward to joining a combat unit, but for now, he's focusing on the battle to retain his sense of self as the show's debut gets closer. "It's very strange to see our pictures on signs and in the papers. I never thought I would be in a situation like this," he says. "I did. I dreamed about this," chimes in Farkash. "It's clear to me that this is a stepping stone - I've told everyone involved that I'm here to stay, and I'm not going anywhere else. This is just the beginning.