The stars of Disney’s “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” offer a key detail about the show’s second season in a short but enchanting teaser Wednesday.
In the above video, the series’ young ensemble ― including Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett and Olivia Rodrigo ― croon the title song of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” gathered around a piano. The performance doubles as a fan service announcement, as Season 2 will follow East High’s budding thespians as they prepare to mount the stage version of “Beauty and the Beast.”
Based on the animated feature of the same name, “Beauty and the Beast” was the first of Disney’s screen-to-stage adaptations when it opened on Broadway in 1994. Despite mixed reviews, the musical was a box office smash and picked up nine Tony Award nominations. Its success paved the way for other theatrical reworkings of Disney classics, including “The Lion King” and “Aladdin.”
In the intervening years, “Beauty and the Beast” has remained popular on the community theater circuit ― a factor that likely inspired “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” creator Tim Federle to incorporate it into the show.
“It was one of the first Broadway shows I ever saw when I was 14,” Federle told HuffPost in an email statement. “It’s got all the perfect metaphors for the high school experience: Do people judge me for how I look? What is true love? Will I achieve the future I dream of? And, perhaps most importantly, it’s got dancing forks.”
The 10-episode “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” arrived as the Disney Plus streaming platform was launched in November. The show is a spinoff of 2006’s “High School Musical,” which starred Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens and spawned two sequels. Told in a mockumentary style akin to “American Vandal” and “The Office,” however, it’s more of a reimagining than a traditional reboot.
Since its fall 2019 premiere, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” has received sterling reviews. Last month, it was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming. Much of the early buzz has emphasized its portrayal of a gay romance between Carlos (played by Frankie A. Rodriguez) and Seb (Joe Serafini) ― a first for the franchise.
Season 2 of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” will premiere on Disney Plus in late 2020. A final release date has not yet been set.