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Los Gatos Patch Whiz Kids of the Week—Parissa and Serena Koo

Rising stars make one fabulous sister act.

  • Parissa Koo, 17
  • Serena Koo, 15
  • School:
  • Accomplishment: Appearing together in Los Gatos High School's spring musical, The Pajama Game.
  • Key to Awesomeness: Last Sunday night, the Koo sisters attended an Academy Awards party hosted by their dad, Dick, but don’t be surprised if someday these two talented actors collect an Oscar—or Tony—of their own. They might only be in high school, but Parissa and Serena, a senior and sophomore, respectively, have the talent and dedication to go far in the acting world.

The Koo sisters, who have been performing since their days at , are already acting veterans. Between them, the girls can check off the following from any serious thespian’s bucket list of must-do musicals: A Chorus Line, The King and I, The Wiz, Godspell, Le Miserables, Aida and Miss Saigon.

Like all sisters, Parissa and Serena are competitive and even—gasp!—go up for the same parts occasionally. Nonetheless, they are totally supportive of one another. Take last summer’s Children's Musical Theater’s production of Miss Saigon. Both Parissa and Serena were called back for the role of Gigi, and they practiced their call-back songs together. (For the record, Parissa snagged the part, which she concedes happens a lot because she’s older.)

Parissa loves to sing and even sent in an audition video to Glee. She performs at parties and fundraisers, and was invited to sing at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Los Gatos Library last summer. Nancy in Oliver and Cathy in A Chorus Line are Parissa’s favorite roles to date. Refreshingly modest, she says, “I’m not the most talented person on earth, but I love to share my passion with others,” whether it’s her fellow actors or the audience.

Serena, on the other hand, brings the spice to this sister act. When asked to name her little sister’s best role to date, Parissa squeals, “Lucy in, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! She was so perfect. I was so proud. In real life, Serena’s sassy! She my little confident girl.”

Having baby sis invade her turf at LGHS last year was an adjustment, admits Parissa. But she quickly discovered there was room for two Koos on campus—both in the choir room where they hang out with fellow “musical theater geeks” and, of course, on stage.

Which is where, beginning Friday, you can catch the Koo sisters performing in The Pajama Game, a romantic comedy set in a pajama factory in the 1950s, and the last of their school shows together before Parissa heads off to study acting—“fingers crossed, don’t want to jinx it”—at her top choices, New York University or University of California, Los Angeles. For ticket information, visit www.lghs.net, or call 408-358-4247. The musical runs March 4-5 and 10-12. 

For Parissa, this run will be bittersweet. “It’s interesting how much our relationship has progressed since Serena got to LGHS and we started doing shows together,” she says. Maybe someday, the sisters will help one another word their acceptance speeches.

Mani Farhadi March 07, 2011 at 06:17 PM
As members of the Los Gatos community, our family has been following the Koo sisters ever since their Van Meter days and we're so proud of them! Their parents have been true supporters, going out of their way to make sure their two daughters have all the opportunities so they can focus on honing their talent. They are truly a gifted duo!

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