It’s officially ten years now since the phenomenon that is High School Musical blasted onto our screens, and, love it or hate it, it’s impossible to deny the impact the twee-fest has had on popular culture. With two sequels (and another in the works), straight to DVD spin-offs, stage shows and countless amounts of branded merchandise, Disney’s peppiest TV movie remains one of its most successful franchises to date.
With this evening’s long-awaited High School Reunion airing on Disney Channel, celebrating a whole decade with the Wild Cats, we decided to dedicate this week’s Where Are They? Wednesday to the alumni of East High.
Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez)
East High’s (if not film history’s) sexiest nerd has rarely shied from the limelight since HSM. Her private life has headlined tabloids for years, both for good and bad, and her peculiar choices in film roles has not gone unnoticed. Since the critical acclaim of Bandslam, Hudgens has endevoured to be seen as a more adult star rather than a Disney starlet, featuring in the bizarre but entrancing Sucker Punch, and of course garnering much attention for her role alongside fellow Disney alumnus Selena Gomez in the seedy drama Spring Breakers.
Zac Efron (Troy Bolton)
Having stolen the hearts of every tweenage girl in the world as the jock who just wants to sing, Zac Efron has tried his hardest to shed his teen heartthrob image over the last few years. From starring opposite Robert De Niro in Bad Grandpa to featuring in one of the greatest cinematic flops in history (We Are Your Friends), it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride. With his recent casting in the upcoming Baywatch reboot, it looks like Efron might soon be attracting a whole new audience of adoring female fans.
Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans)
Unlike our romantic leads, East High’s resident bitch decided to grab the Disney bull by the horns, and has continued through the years to stay loyal to the magical empire. Having voiced the interfering Candace in the award-winning Phineas and Ferb for the best part of the last decade she continues to release the occasional album, and is now set to play the title role in the latest incarnation of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans)
The undoubtedly straight man with a cavalcade of hats has taken a little bit of a back seat to his co-stars since the franchise’s hiatus, having mainly taken on bit parts and voiceover work, as well as working on the webseries I Kissed a Vampire. And collecting more hats.
Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth)
The sportsman with a penchant for getting his groove on, Corbin Bleu used his newfound HSM fame to keep his dancing feet tapping, starring in a number of other musicals with minor success, as long as coming a runner up in the 2013 series of Dancing With the Stars. Over the last few years, he has concentrated on his theatre career, having produced a number of well-received Broadway productions.
Monique Coleman (Taylor McKessie)
The crew’s mandatory sassy female has done a lot of good for the world off the back of HSM. Having founded the GimmeMo programme, she now dedicates her time to helping youths around the world deal with the issues of growing up in the modern age, and has recently been awarded the position of Youth Champion by the UN.