High School the Musical, produced by Tim Federle, is the newest musical comedy series on Broadway. Set in the quiet confines of East High School, the musical offers members of the drama team and their school administrators a chance to put on the show they have been waiting for. New romances are tested, new friendships are forged, and old relationships are changed forever when these young people discover the transformative power that just high school theatre can deliver.
Backstage in the student union, the new faces of the High School the Musical are being introduced. Cate Blanchett as spirited virgin beauty Ms. Leading will soon be joined by Brandine Parente as the poised but wild Rachel Berry, and Danny Zuko as David Hasselhoff’s dimwitted Prefect Eric. Rachel Berry always seemed like she had the part for her when it was simply a matter of getting in there and doing her lines. Now, in this production, she gets to shine as the actress who deserves the lead role.
It is easy to identify with Ms. Leading as she is the exact opposite of her brother Rico. As Coco, she is sensitive and quick thinking, yet at the same time has a surprising depth to her character that makes her seem like a true original. She is caring but not sentimental, smart but not a know-it-all, and outgoing but not obnoxious. Her brother on the other hand, Rico, is more of a risk-taker. He is a loner who dreams of being a hit singer but has trouble coming to grips with the fact that his dream might not come true.
The central romance between Rachel and Rico is the highlight of the show. They have undeniable chemistry together and it shows through in the song ‘Daddy Don’t Live Here.’ This special moment in the show is a timely reminder that there are many different kinds of families, and each has its own individual strengths, weaknesses, and needs. What these siblings have is a real big red flag about not all being able to live up to these strong bonds.
Throughout the series, there are moments when we really get to recognize some of the classic children’s songs. One of these songs is a beautiful introduction to the story as it is sung by Danny Zuko (yes, the same guy who did Fiddler on the Roof and Mulan). It is a very sweet and romantic moment that captures both the audience and the central character, which makes it a very memorable moment in the musical.
Differences in the Musical
Then, when you’re watching the movie the next day, you notice something else that makes this musical different for its audience: the Carlos that Rosario Rose (John Bon Jovi) loves to drive around in. These cars just feel cool to watch and they’ve become a big part of Rosario’s character in the film. It helps create that fantasy romance for the heroine but also helps keep her grounded in real-world dynamics.