Monday, April 17, 2006

High School Musical: The Musical

As if there was any doubt that High School Musical, the oft-replayed Disney Channel movie turned chart-topping CD, was a juggernaut, be warned: It's coming next year to a school near you. I've already heard of kids performing dance numbers from the movie at talent shows, and now Disney's announced that the complete musical is ready to be licensed to schools for performance as early as next fall. My kids' middle school put on "Aladdin Jr." as their school play this year, so I knew that Disney was in the business of licensing its brands as junior theatricals, but this one's got to be setting some kind of record. I guess it's possible to lament the nature of, well, high school musicals to think they're going from time-honored classics to yesterday's Disney fodder. On the other hand, I'd be more comfortable watching 12-year-olds portray Troy and Gabriella than the characters in the musical they did the first year my daughter was in middle school, "Guys and Dolls." Something to be said for age-appropriateness, anyway. And the kids will totally already know the words and the moves.


Adelaide Dupont said...

Your daughter must have been so impressed when you told her this. Did you tell her this?

It would be so exciting.

Yes, Guys and Dolls is a little risque for children and teenagers. I don't know the story that well, but there's the song Hello Dolly which I do like. It's up there with The Woods (Sondheim) and Cabaret (Fosse, I don't know who's responsible for the music version).

It will all be splendid.

There's something about the magic of a musical. Especially a high school musical.

Terri said...

I told her about it, but she's still a little unsure about the degree to which things that happen on TV are not real. So the concept that Troy and Gabriella are played by actors on the Disney Channel and could be played by kids at your school instead is real fuzzy for her. We've been going over this for a lotta years, and she's getting better, but I still get that deer-in-the-headlights glaze when I talk about stuff like this.

I tear up whenever I see kids acting on stage, even in our crummy middle school auditorium with the lousy sound system. Last year they did "The King and I," which was a little less creepy than "Guys and Dolls," but in a junior version that cut huge pieces out. I wish my daughter wanted to be involved in plays, but she's not interested in anything that involves people watching her. It's all I can do to keep her in the band.

Adelaide Dupont said...

I can understand that: social/exposure anxiety.

Or just plain nerves that almost every performer, myself included, gets.

Sympathy and empathy from here.

The King and I is awesome. What bits did they cut out?

Terri said...

They cut the whole "young lovers" subplot with Tuptim, and they used lots and lots of narration to gloss over the areas between songs. Given the crumminess of the sound system, I'm not sure anyone who didn't know the play would have been able to follow the story at all. But the girl who played Anna was quite good, and the boy who played the king shaved his head for the role, and there were lots of bit parts for kids, and they all seemed to enjoy it.