Ol​d-School Rivalries …


Wigged out about starring in their first major film?

Who could blame Jeana Zettler and Ashley Cutrona, portraying war-ready Wiggies — a juicy junior high vocal team taking glee-bashing their Ivory Snow-covered competition, the Five Ovations, in "Standing Ovation," opening July 16.

Standing O? Standing "oy"!

"Well, yes, we are the meanies," says Cutrona, chuckling.

But they're not "Mean Girls," as in the vile villains of the 2004 film in which justice was reserved for "just us" — the privileged and the preppy who snared victims with a sneer.

Not that their mien is good-natured: The Wiggies are wanton warriors — after all, how can a character be named Zita (Cutrona) without being a pimple on the dreams of the cleaner-cut Ovations?

But trying to outwit, outsmart, outplay — and outmaneuver — the Five Ovations, the all-sister Wiggies leave little wiggle room in their stratagems, their trademark wigs barely concealing their ambush ambitions.

Is that what they learned in their nice Jewish homes? Light the Shabbat candlesticks, and then use them to beat the hope out of their enemies?

"No!" exclaims Zettler, the Richboro-raised sabra seated just feet away from her mother, Iris, who, with her husband Andy made aliyah, returning to the states soon after their daughter's birth.

"I was always raised to follow my dream, but without being mean to anyone," notes Zettler.

"We were taught manners," adds Cutrona, the Jewish Jersey girl of the two.

The two college kids — Zettler, 18, taking dance at Montclair State College; Cutrona, 19, a musical theater major at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y. — are fresh faces in the business, having left college during freshman year, sitting out for now to take on "Standing Ovation."

Fame, they're going to live forever … well, they knew early on they wanted to be famous.

"I told my mother that when I was 6," says Cutrona.

"I've been singing since I could talk," chimes in Jeana, whose bubbie, Shirley Jefferson, bonded with jazz decades earlier "singing on radio with Big Bands."

Two teens teaming with talent as slightly younger Machiavellian misses vying to win a $1 million prize in a music video competition, all while trying to 86 the Five Os in the process.

Girls just want to have … dart guns. "High School Musical" for the junior high jete-set?

Exactly, agree both.

The young women — Zettler's zippy bio includes doing ads for "Pep Boys," as well as a CD out on iTunes; Cutrona has trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute and done much TV work — also agree on study hall: They both are vocal students of Sal Dupree, producer/music supervisor of "Standing Ovation."

As they stand to leave — their grace and good manners showing in their gait — both cite Broadway as major musical influences (Jeana, "Spring Awakening"; Ashley, "Phantom of the Opera") and hope that maybe one day, the Atlantic City, N.J.-set "Standing Ovation" will lead to exactly that in careers meeting their first brush with fame as Wiggies. 



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