One for the money, and too much for this show? Not for the students and staff at Grand Ledge High School.
Their production of Phantom of the Opera cost at least $80,000. It's considered the most expensive school musical ever produced in the area, but it cost the school district nothing.
"We are totally self funded," said director Steve Delp. "We don't get a penny from the school district, we're like a club sport in that regard. It's all coming through fundraising and ticket sales. And when you put all that together, we're right about breaking even."
The cost of an average high school musical is about $10,000. The chandelier needed for some of the most famous scenes in musical history alone cost $15,000. Add to that $10,000 simply to purchase the rights to perform the longest running musical on Broadway.
Plus, Grand Ledge doesn't have a strings program. So, Michigan State University and Okemos High School students fill the orchestra pit for the performances, which accounts for another $10,000.
Then, there's the Phantom. Junior Tim Wright spends two hours with a professional make up artist dedicated to his gruesome look before every curtain call.
"With this whole money thing, we have to make sure we're putting our effort in and making this a quality performance," said Wright. "I think we're doing that, and things are going really well."
Students and staff throughout the school have also pitched in. A physics teacher made the boat for Phantom's lair, drafting students designed the grand staircase for Masquerade, and art classes constructed candelabras.
"Kids have been coming out of the woodwork who have never been associated with shows before, and said how can I help backstage or 'I want to do this,'" Delp said. "And I think it's the idea that it is Phantom and that there's something special going on here."
The final curtains close at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $15 to $20.