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‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ sets surprise holiday special

Frankie A. Rodriguez
Frankie A. Rodriguez as Carlos in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”
(Fred Hayes / Disney+)

You’ve heard of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” Now get ready for “High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special.”

After the COVID-19 pandemic halted production on its sophomore season, the spinoff TV series of the hit Disney Channel movie franchise is returning to Disney+ in December with a standalone, unscripted episode featuring stars Olivia Rodrigo (Nini), Joshua Bassett (Ricky), Matt Cornett (EJ), Sofia Wylie (Gina), Larry Saperstein (Big Red), Julia Lester (Ashlyn), Dara Reneé (Kourtney), Frankie Rodriguez (Carlos), Joe Serafini (Seb), Mark St. Cyr (Mr. Mazzara) and Kate Reinders (Miss Jenn).

Announced Wednesday, the 45-minute show will unite cast members to sing classic Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s tunes between exchanging holiday memories — including gifts, traditions and family photos — and resolutions for the coming year.

The Season 1 finale of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” was the start of something new for Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) and Ricky (Joshua Bassett).

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A tandem album, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special: The Soundtrack,” is also coming to major music vendors and streaming platforms on Nov. 20.

“The holidays remind us of the universal importance of family and loved ones,” said series creator Tim Federle, executive producer and director of the special, in a statement. “The cast of ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ is its own kind of family, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to share their favorite holiday music and traditions with our viewers.”

Bassett will also perform an acoustic version of a new song he penned for the second season of the show, which started — and stopped — filming in Salt Lake City earlier this year. The actor and recording artist previously co-wrote a Season 1 duet with his onscreen love interest, Rodrigo.

Season 2 of Disney+'s “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” will stage “Beauty and the Beast,” and we have some ideas about who should play whom.

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Season 2 of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” originally set to premiere this year on Disney+, will see its theater-loving teens tackle their next Disney production: “Beauty and the Beast.” New episodes will feature cast covers of tracks from both “Beauty and the Beast” and the “High School Musical” films, as well as original music.

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special,” which will also include a sneak peek of Season 2, arrives on Disney+ on Dec. 11.


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