Brace yourselves, wildcats: Disney+ has just announced that when its original series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series returns for Season 2, Miss Jenn and the students of the real East High will put on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for their next musical.
When Season 1 launched, the mockumentary series (created by Broadway veteran Tim Federle) tracked the “real” students of East High, the setting of the original movie High School Musical, as they put on their first production of High School Musical: The Musical. The show thrived on its meta humor and the wicked talent of its teen cast, including stars Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo.
Season 1 concluded with the opening night performance of High School Musical: The Musical and drama teacher Miss Jenn, played by Kate Reinders (Something Rotten!), telling her kids to wait and see what she had in store for the spring musical.
As Federle notes in the video above, “It's an incredible score, it's got so many fun roles for these characters to play in the show within the show, and it allows us to tell this classic love story in a brand new way.” He announces the arrival of a new character named Howie, in honor of late Beauty and the Beast creator and lyricist Howard Ashman.
Production on Season 2 begins February 5 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The cast returns with Bassett as Ricky, Rodrigo as Nini, Matt Cornett as E.J., Sofia Wylie as Gina, Larry Saperstein as Big Red, Julia Lester as Ashlyn, Dara Reneé as Kourtney, Frankie Rodriguez as Carlos, Mark St. Cyr as Mr. Mazzara, Reinders as Miss Jenn. Joe Serafini also returns as Seb, now a series regular.
Another theatre-themed Disney+ series, Encore!, which chronicles reunions of the casts of high school musicals, previously featured Beauty and the Beast. The students who starred in Saginaw High School’s production of the Disney title returned to Saginaw, Texas, 10 years after graduation to put on a one-night-only encore performance, coached by Broadway’s original Belle, Susan Egan. A later episode revisited Gibraltar High School's 2007 production of High School Musical in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
Beauty and the Beast first bowed on Broadway in 1994 at the Palace Theatre, directed by Robert Roth with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and a book by Linda Woolverton. A revival is in the very early stages of development, according to Disney Theatrical Productions President Thomas Schumacher.
HSMTMTS, recently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, features covers of songs from existing musicals as well as original songs, including “All I Want” by Rodrigo and “Just for a Moment” by Bassett and Rodrigo. Season 2 will feature songs from the High School Musical movies, Beauty and the Beast, and more new works. The cast often sings live throughout the series.
Watch the cast of HSMTMTS sing from the title song from Beauty and the Beast in the video below: