Let’s go, wildcats! When ‘High School Musical’ premiered back in 2006, it captivated over 7.7 million television viewers in the United States, earning the title of highest-rated Disney Channel Original Movie at the time.
This modern-day Romeo and Juliet story revolves around two teenagers from contrasting social groups who find a connection through their shared love for music. Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), the captain of East Side High School’s basketball team and the most popular guy in school, encounters Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), a shy and intelligent transfer student, at a holiday karaoke party. When they return to school, Troy and Gabriella decide to audition for the high school musical. However, Drama Club president Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) and her twin brother, Ryan Evans (Lucas Gabreel), are not pleased about the competition they bring.
While Troy and Gabriella navigate their way around Sharpay and Ryan’s resistance, they also struggle with their own personal dilemmas. Troy’s interest in the musical perplexes the Wildcat basketball team, including his best friend, Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu). Troy must make a decision between pursuing basketball or following his heart’s desire for music, as he contemplates, “My mind is focused on the game, but my heart yearns for the song.” On the other hand, Gabriella joins the scholastic decathlon team, pushing herself to overcome her shyness and embrace her potential as a leading lady.
The immense popularity of the film led to the creation of several sequels, including ‘High School Musical 2’ (2007), ‘High School Musical 3: Senior Year’ (2008), which premiered in theaters, and ‘Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure’ (2011). Additionally, ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,’ a television show based on the original film franchise, debuted on Disney’s streaming platform, Disney+, in November 2019.
In April 2019, Monique Coleman, who portrayed Gabriella’s friend Taylor McKessie, shared her experience working with a young cast during an exclusive interview with Us Weekly.
“We truly became close friends and looked out for each other. It was important for us to remain tightly knit and support one another because, at the end of the day, we were all adolescents,” she expressed to Us.
A year later, the cast assembled once again for a special performance dedicated to a worthy cause amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. Hudgens, Coleman, and other former Wildcats joined forces for ABC’s Disney Family Singalong, expressing their gratitude towards healthcare heroes during these challenging times.
“Everyone we reached out to quickly agreed to participate, and their enthusiasm and solidarity shine through as they come together from their respective homes. They recognize the power of this performance to uplift spirits for those tuning in to watch,” commented the film’s director, Kenny Ortega, in an interview with Deadline about the April 2020 reunion. “It’s a heartwarming and enjoyable gathering of talented youth united by the lyrics of this song for the show.”
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Continue scrolling to catch a glimpse of what the students from East Side High School look like today!