THIS year's Star Struck event certainly shows how appropriate its title of No Limits is, with the engaging musical numbers featuring 3500 students from Hunter and Central Coast state schools on stage and working behind the scenes showing just how much can be done with songs, dance, music and comedy.
In a segment called Beyond the Stars, for example, the song To The Sky climaxes with the rider of a bike that has wings flying away from other ensemble members.
Another song in that segment, Defying Gravity, is delivered by a female singer while two aerialists twirl around sky-blue linen cloths that hang from the ceiling.
This Star Struck has participants from 58 schools and the Hunter Signing Choir, with hundreds of teachers also involved behind the scenes. Audience members also get to take part, with a performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber number Sing! having the audience join the ensemble in pressing the lights on their mobile phones and swinging them.
There is certainly a lot of variety in the show. In the song Time, which looks at how people change over time, a mother is greeted by increasingly older and taller versions of her son, with a final meeting that is both amusing and moving.
The Dolly Parton number 9 to 5 is used in a segment called Believe, Achieve, Succeed that has many different styles of work clothing, with male and female office workers looking unhappy in their black-and-white office suits and dresses. Another song in that segment, Working for the Weekend, has the dancers in colourful weekend-style garb such as beach shirts.
The segment Heightened Reality has people imagining how they'd like to be seen, with dancers to the song Can You Imagine That? in bright red and silver outfits.
The show acknowledges what is done by people who are often neglected in Australian society. The opening delivery of the national anthem Advance Australia Fair is led by students with indigenous backgrounds, and initially sung in a Aboriginal dialect with a didgeridoo accompaniment, with the audience invited to join in when it is sung in English.
Performers in wheelchairs take part in dance routines and the Hunter Signing Choir helps to bring out songs' emotions.