"A High School Musical for Adults"
November 13, 2017 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Kristen Bell Will Reunite High School Musical Cast Members for New TV Series "ABC is teaming up with Frozen and The Good Place star Kristen Bell on a new TV series titled Encore, which will reunite former high school class mates to perform their high school musical one more time. Executive produced by Bell, the series is currently seeking out cast members from high school musicals in the [1990s and early 2000s]."

Applications are being taken at http://www.maxam-outdoors.com/ for future episodes by Monday, December 4th 2017. The show itself will be airing soon, but no dates or times are given.
posted by ZeusHumms (38 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I love this idea but have a lot of questions about how they'll pull it off. Presumably we won't see the whole show, but rather clips.... okay. I'm guessing we'll spend time doing a "where are they now" of the now-grown cast members, which I'm cool with. I guess I'm just nervously anticipating that it will get wrapped in a bunch of ~drama~ for TV's sake. Like, oh here's the former-high-school-sweethearts reuniting to sing "Suddenly Seymour." I mean, I'm here for that... just keeping my expectations moderate.
posted by Zephyrial at 3:31 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]

Kristen Bell is so awesome that I just want to...to boop her on the nose.

posted by zombieflanders at 3:32 PM on November 13 [16 favorites]

For a moment there, I was terrified she was reuniting High School Musical cast members, rather than reuniting cast members of high school musicals. The latter is a much better idea.
posted by zachlipton at 3:41 PM on November 13 [32 favorites]

Yeah. I was trying to figure out if Kristen Bell had something to do with High School Musical that I was unaware of.

This is better.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:48 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]

This seems like something that sounds a lot better in theory than it will be in reality.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:57 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]

Thinking of the people I was in high school musicals with, I'll take a hard pass.
posted by crush at 4:27 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]

My hopes for an Adult version of High School Musical were slightly different.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:28 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]

in the [1990s and early 2000s]

I guess that rules out my school's 1980 version of George M!. Maybe for the best.
posted by bowline at 4:36 PM on November 13

This is the partial premise of the excellent documentary The Best Worst Thing That Could Have Ever Happened, about the original teenage cast members of of the Sondheim cult favourite Merrily We Roll Along, directed by one of the original cast, Lonny Price. That was great, so maybe this will be great too.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:58 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]

So, I played Mae in The Pajama Game and am more than willing to revisit that role for a national audience. Or, the mistakes of the past can be corrected and I will finally be allowed to play Gladys even though I can't dance. Call me, Kristen!
posted by betweenthebars at 5:01 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]

In the 90s I played bass in my school's production of Pippin. Our combo was tasked with coming up with interstitial music while the audience was getting seated and also during intermission. So mostly we played the jazzy Angelo Badalamenti stuff from Twin Peaks, like Audrey's Dance. If we put Pippin on again today, I would totally play shit from Twin Peaks: The Return, including by "the" Nine Inch Nails.
posted by Beardman at 5:15 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]

Pretty sure I could get the gang back together for this one.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:17 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]

I am 100000% certain that my high school is going to end up on this show in some capacity. It was that kind of school.
posted by nonasuch at 5:21 PM on November 13

BRB, changing my name so my high school drama club can never ever find me. The guy who played Hugo in our high school production of Bye Bye Birdie had a bit part on Veronica Mars and if there is even the slightest chance he and Kristen Bell stayed in touch, I need to go into hiding. Give my Telephone Hour solo to someone else, please.
posted by Stacey at 6:34 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]

We can recreate our all-white version of The Wiz! :/
posted by augustimagination at 6:39 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]

Also I was in high school musicals with someone from the first season of American Idol so I've gone ahead and tagged him in my FB post on this because he's clearly our best chance of making it and tbh as horrible as the actual musical would be I bet it would be disturbingly fun to actually be in.
posted by augustimagination at 6:41 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]

Pretty sure I could get the gang back together for this one.

Only if you're doing The Nightman Cometh.
posted by delfin at 6:59 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]

Ugh, how many of them did Grease? That show is irredeemably awful and sadly a staple of high school productions ca .1989-1996
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:07 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]

1990s? Darn. That means I can't try to get together the cast of my tiny high school's production of Brigadoon from 1974, which would have been the district's first musical in a decade except that the one of the older, bigger high schools staged The Fantasticks a week before our premiere and no I'm not still bitter.
posted by lhauser at 7:10 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]

In 1992 my high school did Oklahoma! There is no way I could hit those notes again without serious coaching. One of the girls in the chorus is in a grunge tribute band tho so I bet she'd be ok.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:24 PM on November 13

Some horrifying moments from my past that will never be included in this TV show:

- The time an actor fell off the stage during a performance, landing in the middle of the orchestra. He miraculously didn't injure anyone, despite smashing into the first violinist who was already playing with a broken wrist, but the night ended with me vacuuming up said violin with a Shop-Vac. The violin was worth around $10,000 (it was insured).

- The time an actor got stuck in the air during a flying sequence when part of her fairy costume got stuck in the belay device. Pulling a curtain around her while dragging a ladder onto the stage and cutting her down was a little conspicuous, but the show went on.

- The time an actor discovered that the prop handcuffs were actually real handcuffs (they weren't used during the show, but hung uselessly off Officer Krupke's belt just as all the adults find themselves useless amid the violence in their community) by handcuffing herself to her friend a few hours before a performance. The high school business manager called the police, who found that the handcuff keys they carried did not happen to fit these random cuffs, and ended up driving the pair to a locksmith after cutting the chain with the giant bolt cutters they'd use when someone forgot their locker combination. I spent a while trying to come up with a way to turn a random handcuff into a bracelet if it couldn't be unlocked in time.

- The time the (professional) stage manager forgot to give the cast a places call at intermission and started the show anyway. House lights down, stage lights fade up, 10 seconds of music plays, then nothing. Stage manager runs out of the booth, down the back stairs, yelling for the company to get out there and start RIGHT NOW.
posted by zachlipton at 7:33 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]

Pretty sure no one wants to see my high school's all (ALL) white cast of South Pacific reunite, especially on television. I think I'm safe.
posted by ThatSomething at 7:54 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]

High school musicals had to still make sense that the chorus girls outnumbered the boys. Grease works. Fiddler works.

posted by k8t at 7:56 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]

Wondering if any performing arts schools will be featured in this.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:45 PM on November 13

We did Finian's Rainbow in 1989. At first I thought "oh, that might be a fun thing" and then I remembered. Not only was the whole cast a bunch of jerks, but our Sharon and Woody had a HUGE fight after the last performance and didn't speak to each other for the rest of HS. God, the intrigue and backstabbing... :shudder:
posted by gemmy at 8:50 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]

all-white cast of South Pacific

If it was extremely bowdlerized, did you go to my high school?

Also if Janet isn't on this show, it's completely dead to me.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:11 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]

Just what I need, another opportunity to put on the bear suit for Smetana's The Bartered Bride. It happened solely because there was one girl in my senior class who was training to be a professional opera soprano and already had a few performances under her belt. There's a nice juicy bass role in there, the marriage broker Kecal, and I was the only person in that tiny high school who was even remotely capable of singing an operatic bass, but the director transposed it and gave the role to an alto. I'm not bitter.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:29 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]

You know, Geoff Peterson is still unemployed, so here's hoping Kristen can see a way within this project to throw him a bone.
posted by zaixfeep at 4:49 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]

It feels appropriate somehow that the post on the Portsmouth Sinfonia is right next door to this one.
posted by rollick at 6:33 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]

Most of my HS shows were in the late 1980s (save for "Guys & Dolls" in 1990), so at least I have the consolation that we won't repeat "Annie," which is a terrible show in and of itself but is even worse when the director won't listen to your comment that the "Francis" Perkins in the script is a misprint and it should be FRANCES, thus female. We obliterated the first female cabinet member.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:15 AM on November 14

Is "High School Musical" available for high schools to stage?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:30 AM on November 14

I'd love to see my high school's musical version of the Wizard of Oz restaged. One of the cast members was a really good dancer, so they added a part where she does an interpretive dance *as* the yellow brick road.

Come to think of it, I think that's the last time they ever did a musical.

I can't imagine why.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:47 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]

If I'm needed to reprise my role as the Wizard from Sapulpa High School's 1989 production of "Once Upon A Mattress," I can be off-book in, oh, 10 seconds or so.
posted by Shohn at 9:16 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]

A woman I was in 4-H with (we performed musicals every year at the Minnesota State Fair, yep it's real and no animals were involved) is now a professional dancer and others are professional actors and musicians, so they could probably make a pretty amazing comeback.

My main skills were Confidence! and being a good team player, so I don't think my contributions will be improved in any way. I am not great at the drama of reality shows but that I could try to work on.

Sad to say, we had a lot of deaths during my time in 4-H in high school. So, I suppose our group would be good for a tearjerker episode. I know I still cry about those late friends and it would not be hard to get me going if I was back with our people.
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:39 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]

My main skills were Confidence! and being a good team player, so I don't think my contributions will be improved in any way. I am not great at the drama of reality shows but that I could try to work on.

I am confident that the production team will do their very best to shoehorn footage into the desired tropes that attract and retain viewers, and keep ad rates up.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:18 AM on November 14

Much as I would love the opportunity to reprise my 1990 performance as the title role in Pippin, I don't think anyone actually wants to see that. Although I did marry the girl who played Catherine.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:09 AM on November 14

"IT'S BILL SYKES" *squint and point towards audience*

Ah, my great role as meat seller no.4 in oliver. I wasn't allowed to wear glasses so I couldn't see anything. An my next role was the arm of a plant (guess the show!). Moved backstage after that...

I am forwarding this to some pals who I know were excellent at different schools (mostly in the states). Kate M. - everyone knows you should have been Sally in Cabaret, maybe this is time!
posted by sedimentary_deer at 3:09 PM on November 14

Is "High School Musical" available for high schools to stage?
posted by mbrubeck at 3:16 PM on November 14

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