High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special Is Coming to Disney+
This could be the start of something new! Disney announced plans this week for a brand new Holiday Special for Disney+ featuring your favorite classmates from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series!
The special will be aptly titled High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special. It will reunite the cast of the beloved Disney+ show for 45 minutes of awesome performances featuring some of your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s songs. Cast members will also share their favorite holiday memories, family traditions their most embarrassing Christmas moments and more.
Showrunner Tim Federle told Entertainment Weekly that the idea for the Holiday Special stemmed from the fact that he missed everyone during the COVID-19 shutdown. “I was like, I miss the cast, I could use a little Christmas, let’s make a holiday special,” Federle tells EW. “And I still kind of can’t believe we made it. It was a lot of Google spreadsheets and Zoom meetings.”
Getting the cast together across the miles was now easy task.
“We had four different crews in four different cities. Sofia Wylie, she was up at 4 in the morning and she was shooting in the Arizona desert during a heatwave, and I was directing it over a speakerphone attached to a microphone on set. My Snapple fun fact is that we shot the L.A. portion at the Bachelor house literally in Malibu because we were right down to the wire trying to figure out locations and a lot of locations weren’t available [at the height of the shutdown]. It just makes me laugh because it is all part of the ABC family.”
In terms of the content for the special Federle says he grew up with shows likes So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol and he wanted to the show to be unscripted and to give audiences a chance to connect with the cast members while they perform.
For fans of the Disney+ series, we’re also told the special provides a sneak peak of Season 2 which includes a brand new song performed by Joshua Bassett “The first episode of season 2 picks up right where season 1 left off,” Federle says. “It’s a very holiday-themed episode. I said to Josh, ‘What if you wrote a new Christmas song from Ricky’s point of view?’ It’s a really great Joshua Bassett original. It’s a really sweet moment in the episode.”
Basset says of the number, “I was so honored that they asked me to perform it in the special.” He adds,. “The key element of the song is that Ricky is trying to get a gift for someone and he doesn’t really have much money, and so it’s like, ‘I can’t afford a gift so instead I’m going to write you a song.'”
But that’s not the only song coming in Season 2 that was written by the cast members. As the piece in EW tells us, each of the primary cast members wrote a song for the upcoming series. Olivia Rodrigo reveals, “I am so grateful to Tim Federle and everyone who’s created the show for letting us teenagers have that much responsibility in creating something for such a wonderful project. The show is very much about teenagers and portraying a teenager’s issues in a realistic way, and so the fact that some of the songs are written by teenagers is just an extension of how authentic I think the show is.”
According to Federle, viewers watching the special will also be treats to a look at the first musical performance of season 2 which features the entire ensemble. “What I can tease about the first look at season 2 is that I think it embraces the best of East High as a location, and also really announces this entire cast with a giant group song that sets the standard for tone and energy and joy and dancing for the season,” Federle says. “Season 1, so many of the performances by design were extremely acoustic, it was like Josh with a guitar. And I love those performances and we do those in season 2 too but I feel like we’re the only show on television with the word musical in its title twice, and so we wanted to open season 2 with a bang.”
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Source: Entertainment Weekly