MODERN DAY OPERA: This bona fide teenage love story takes to the stage of the Estonian Puppet and Youth Theater.
TALLINN - Though the musical has its roots in European forms such as the opera and operetta, what we know as musical theater today is a form that developed in America during the 20th century. “High School Musical” has now reached the stage of the Estonian Puppet and Youth Theater. Upon its release on Jan. 20, 2006, it became the most successful movie that Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) ever produced.
Disney’s leading musical has broken all manner of records and sold more copies than any other musical, including “Mamma Mia.” It is considered to be the highest grossing musical film of all time.
“High School Musical’s” success story began back in 2006, on the Disney television channel in the United States, from which it soon moved into cinemas and onto theater stages. In just a few years it has become one of the most bankable youth trademarks, one of the most powerful youth brands in the world.
“High School Musical” was the Disney Channel’s most watched movie that year, with 7.7 million viewers in its premiere broadcast in the U.S. In the UK, it received 789,000 viewers for its premiere (and 1.2 million viewers overall during the first week), making it the second most watched program on Disney Channel (UK) of 2006. On Dec. 29, 2006, it became the first Disney Channel Original Movie to be broadcast on the BBC. Globally, High School Musical has been seen by over 225 million viewers.
“High School Musical” is a modern adaptation of “Romeo & Juliet.” It is a true teenage love story. Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) meet on a karaoke stage one night while on vacation. Despite the magical song they sang together, they would probably have never seen each other again. Gabriella’s mom gets transferred, however, and she coincidentally ends up going to the same high school as Troy.
While the two are happy to see each other again, things are a lot different when they are confined by the rigid social structure of high school. Gabriella, known in her last school as a “math geek,” does not seem to fit into Troy’s world of jocks and cheerleaders. The two really cause an upheaval though, when they act on their secret desire to try out for the lead parts in the high school musical. Although many students resent the threat posed to the status quo, Troy and Gabriella’s alliance might just open the door for others to shine as well.
With a very talented cast and a great love story, “High School Musical” is a huge hit with kids and teens. But the movie also succeeds in another way - “High School Musical” presents the social concerns kids face in a non-threatening, win-win way. Instead of following the usual tactic of the genre and allowing the underdog to prevail over the evil popular crowd, “High School Musical” brings students together and recognizes each person’s talents and contribution.
“High School Musical” was filmed at East High School, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the auditorium of Murray High School, and downtown Salt Lake City. Murray High School was also the set of several other Disney productions: “Take Down” (1978), “Read It and Weep” (2006), “Minutemen” (2008) and “High School Musical: Get in the Picture” (2008).
“High School Musical” became so popular that it is possible to find an online as well as a board game about the musical. According to Efron, the message of the movie says that you have to be yourself, walk your own path.
However, Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans), one of the heroes of the film, considers that the whole movie is about being yourself and not being in a clique. “You don’t have to be just one thing. Kids can get stuck in a clique and can’t get out of it. You feel that people won’t support you in anything else. I think it’s important to find yourself in school and be happy about it, and if people don’t support you, they’re not your real friends,” says Ashley.
If you are a fan of musicals, then there is no doubt that you will find “High School Musical” really stunning. “High School Musical” is held and will be open for visitors through April 10.