High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is the new Disney+ original series - here's all you need to know.
Disney+ launched in the UK in March and with it came High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
The new series is a spin-off to the hit series of Disney original movies, which are also available on the service.
The inventive show follows a group of students who are counting down the days until they get to perform in their school’s first-ever production of, yes, High School Musical: The Musical.
The first series will air for ten episodes with new episodes added weekly at 8AM (UK time) Fridays on Disney+.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series - who's on the cast
Making up the confirmed cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series are Joshua Bassett as Ricky, Olivia Rodrigo as Nini, Matt Cornett as E.J., Kate Reinders as Miss Jenn, Julia Lester as Ashlyn, Larry Saperstein as Big Red and Sofia Wylie as Gina, Dara Reneé as Kourtney, Frankie A. Rodriguez as Carlos and Mark St. Cyr as Mr. Mazzara.
Joining them are Joe Serafini as Seb Matthew-Smith,, Alexis Nelis as Natalie Bagley, Nicole Sullivan and Michelle Noh as Carol and Dana, Jeanne Sakata as Malou, Alex Quijano as Mike Bowen, Valente Rodriguez as Principal Gutierrez and Beth Lacke as Lynne Bowen.
Meanwhile making cameos are Kaycee Stroh as Kaycee and Lucas Grabeel as himself - the pair played Martha Cox and Ryan Evans respectively in the original film.
What's High School Musical: The Musical: The Series all about?
The series features plenty of meta references to the High School Musical franchise itself, and is shot with hand-held cameras to provide a fresh, documentary-style feel. Naturally, there are also new songs in every episode—many of them sung live by a cast of real-life teenagers—as well as reimagined versions of tunes from the original movies.
And just like in the film that inspired it all, HSMTMTS will be filled with budding romances, faltering friendships and harsh rivalries, leaving the lives of this new crop of East High students changed forever as they experience the transformative power that only high school theatre can provide.
The new student body includes Ricky (Joshua Bassett), a charismatic teen auditioning for the musical so he can win back the heart of ex-girlfriend Nini (Olivia Rodrigo), who has just returned from summer theatre camp with a new boyfriend—and the same old insecurities that keep her from owning the spotlight.
There's also Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders), East High’s supremely spirited drama teacher, who is convinced that musicals can be lifesavers; Gina (Sofia Wylie), a transfer student and diehard theatre kid with plenty of secrets; E.J. (Matt Cornett), Nini’s new beau from camp, who sees life as a competition and Ricky as his number-one foe.
Kourtney (Dara Reneé), Nini’s best friend and a fashionista equally obsessed with makeup tutorials and feminism; Ashlyn (Julia Lester), E.J.’s cousin and an aspiring songwriter, Carlos (Frankie A. Rodriguez), the student choreographer who has already memorized his Tony Awards speech; Big Red (Larry Saperstein), Ricky’s best friend, a dude who can best be described as a spiritual descendant of Bill and Ted; and Mr. Mazzara (Mark St. Cyr), East High’s by-the-book S.T.E.M. teacher.
High School Musical: The Musical: spoilers
In this week's episode (Streaming from April 3), after “losing” her phone and missing an important rehearsal, Nini suspects who is responsible for her bout with bad luck and surprisingly retaliates. EJ confronts Ricky about a heartfelt voicemail left for Nini. Meanwhile, Mr. Mazzara becomes suspicious of Miss Jenn's past.
In the next episode (Streaming from April 10< After Nini discovers that E.J. isn’t who she thinks he is, Ashlyn gets caught in the middle. Gina and E.J. team up as “wonderstudies,” and Ricky gets an unexpected visitor at home.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2
A second season of HSMTMTS has already been confirmed, which will see the school staging a production of Beauty & The Beast.
Creator Tim Federle said: "The outpouring of love and support for season one has been incredibly exciting, and I’m thrilled that the Wildcats are putting on 'Beauty & The Beast' in season two.
"It was one of the first Broadway shows I ever saw, when I was 14, and 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."
Meanwhile, alongside the new series is High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Special which features behind the scenes clips of both the series and the original film.