Gallagher returns to the role of American Ballet Academy artistic director Jonathan Reeves in the made-for-television sequel to the 2000 film "Center Stage." Also returning for the second film is dancer Ethan Stiefel, who portrays instructor Cooper Nielsen. In addition to Sarah Jayne Jensen (Wonderful Town, Gypsy with Bernadette Peters) and Cody Green (2009 West Side Story revival, "So You Think You Can Dance"), the television film's new young stars include Rachele Smith and Kenny Wormald. Steven Jacobson directs the sequel, which was written by Karen Bloch.
"Center Stage: Turn It Up," according to press notes, "follows Kate (Smith), a talented, self-taught ballerina, who leaves her Detroit home to audition for the prestigious American Ballet Academy in New York. Despite displaying superior abilities and impressing experienced teacher Cooper Nielsen (Stiefel), Kate is rejected by Artistic Director Jonathan Reeves (Gallagher) in favor of classical ballerina Suzanne (Jensen). A prodigy from a wealthy family, Suzanne has been trained in classical ballet since the moment she could walk. Kate then meets hockey player-turned-dancer Tommy (Wormald), who has been accepted to the Academy, but still needs help with his technique. As Kate and Tommy work together, their growing affection inspires a new determination and commitment to achieving their dreams."
"Center Stage: Turn It Up" premieres at 8 PM Nov. 1. In anticipation of the made-for-television film's debut, Oxygen will also air the original "Center Stage," featuring Tony winner Donna Murphy, Oct. 31 at 4 PM and Nov. 1 at 8 AM (check local listings).
"Center Stage: Turn It Up" arrives on DVD and Blu-ray disc in January 2009 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.