Disney+ has officially revealed the production that the theater kids of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” will be staging for Season 2. And no, it’s not “High School Musical 2.”
After much social media speculation about which show Nini, Ricky and the East High squad should tackle next, the streaming platform announced Wednesday that the new season is already in production. The new musical? “Beauty and the Beast.”
After featuring a dramatic student rendition of the series’ title musical in Season 1, it seems natural that the powers that be in the House of Mouse would choose another Disney classic for the show’s sophomore run. The provider also confirmed that the second season, launching later this year, will include a mix of songs from the “High School Musical” movies and “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as original music performed by the cast.
What hasn’t been confirmed, however, is which “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” regulars will play which characters in the tale as old as time. Luckily, we have some ideas to tide fans over before the real casting is unveiled.
Presenting “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Dream Cast: Beauty and the Beast.”
Gina (Sofia Wylie) as Babette
The fun and flirty Babette already enjoys a brief dance break with Lumière in the Broadway show’s most extravagant number, “Be Our Guest.” What better way for Gina to show off her killer moves than with an extended dance feature staged by choreographer extraordinaire Carlos? We would love to see it.
Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) as Belle’s mother
“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” already defied gender constructs by casting Seb as Sharpay in the first season. Should the show continue that tradition by swapping out Belle’s father, Nini’s old soul and unconditional kindness would make her the perfect inventor and mother to our heroine. Plus, the latest film adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” offered a more feminist spin on Belle’s character by letting her tinker with her own inventions. Why not take that spirit a step further by having the bookish protagonist inherit her wits from her mom instead of her dad?
Big Red (Larry Saperstein) as LeFou
We already know from his friendship with Ricky that Big Red’s loyalty knows no bounds, which gives him big LeFou energy. Plus, how fun would it be to see a tap-dance routine from Gaston’s trusty sidekick in the village tavern?
EJ (Matt Cornett) as Gaston
I hate to typecast, but this one is just too easy. A major superiority complex paired with a struggle to comprehend or exhibit real human emotions? Check and check. Gaston is EJ. EJ is Gaston.
Carlos (Frankie A. Rodriguez) as Cogsworth
Carlos’ perfectionist — and occasionally uptight — tendencies lend themselves perfectly to the tightly wound but lovable Cogsworth the clock. And, as East High’s resident choreographer, we already know he’s great at keeping time. Five, six, seven, eight!
Seb (Joe Serafini) as Lumière
Seb absolutely slayed as the most fabulous character in “High School Musical,” and we wouldn’t assign him anything less for “Beauty and the Beast”: He should play everyone’s favorite candelabra. He basically carried all of Ryan and Sharpay’s duets by himself in “High School Musical,” proving he’s ready for a solo debut with “Be Our Guest.”
Kourtney (Dara Renee) as Mrs. Potts
East High drama teacher Miss Jenn hinted in Season 1 that she had big plans for Kourtney after she wowed her theater peers with her powerful voice at tech rehearsal. So naturally, Kourtney deserves to cover the spring musical’s gorgeous title track as the wise and caring Mrs. Potts.
Ricky (Joshua Bassett) as Beast
Is it a little unfair to cast Ricky, a.k.a. Season 1’s Troy, as the male lead again in Season 2? Perhaps. But hey, that’s showbiz. Let’s face it: Ricky has all the raw vulnerability and unexpected charm needed for a convincing Beast. I don’t make the rules.
Ashlyn (Julia Lester) as Belle
While she certainly made the most of her supporting role in the first season, it would be a sin not to cast Ashlyn as the lead this time around. Her stunning rendition of the emotional ballad “Wondering” in “High School Musical” achieved the impressive feat of rounding out Miss Darbus’ fan-favorite but flat character. Plus, an added mother-daughter song from her and Nini would be a welcome reprise to their beautiful Season 1 duet. It’s Ashlyn’s turn to be the belle of the ball.