Our day at Walt Disney Studios Park on Saturday, 5th April continues as clouds continue to gather above and turn ever darker. With the clock ticking to the park’s much-publicised new ‘Summer’ show, will it make it through before the rain begins?
The same “rolling” (or moving) stage of the first show, High School Musical On Tour, returns to the park following its Winter break, now redecorated to almost exactly match the stages of the two American versions of the sequel show. A banner to the right of the iconic High School Musical letters carries a large number ‘2’, the words ‘School’s Out’ across the front show that this show will take its name straight from the original versions and the colour scheme in general is altered to a less formal, more Summery look. The red stepladder pulled along by the stage in the original show is replaced by a blue trailer carrying the students’ golf club work equipment and beach accessories.
Inspired costuming: “I majored in VACATION”
Rather than rolling into Backlot and continuing into Production Courtyard with The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as its backdrop, the premiere edition was due to arrive just in front of the Place des Stars Stage, allowing more VIP press and film crews a clear view from the large cordoned-off area next to the Tower’s gardens. Regular guests would have to see the show, the only performance of the day, from the sidelines or from behind.
Sunnier Summertimes: Rehearsals leading up to the premiere
As crowds gathered all around and the first spots of rain began to fall, fans could spot a flustered Katy Harris, show director of ‘School’s Out’ as well as ‘On Tour’ and of course Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, directing and redirecting technical teams to make sure the premiere went without hitch. The cast had been rehearsing for several weeks beforehand, with several actual in-park rehearsals from the 31st March onwards.
During the first week of the new show, which runs only in the late afternoons, they would also be preparing for the return of the original show, featuring songs from the first Disney Channel movie, from 12th April onwards.
Tick tock, tick tock… following a medley from the first movie, the clock began to countdown…
And then, the bell! Schoooool’s out!
As the video above shows, the Summertime songs and real smiles of the cast couldn’t hold back the heavy rain that began around halfway into the show. The cast continued uninterrupted in the usual Marne-la-Vallée Disney style — it seems nothing can stop them. Keep an eye out for show director Katy Harris rushing past toward the end of the video.
Given that this was the official premiere and would be filmed and photographed by press from across Europe — as well as the resort’s own audio/visual team, almost the entire cast joined the show to give a huge team of over 20 singers and dancers in the spotlight. The usual performances do feature slightly fewer extras, but have larger casts than you might expect — thanks perhaps to the lack of a daily parade. Most of the faces amongst the Wild Cats were new, whilst some were returning from 2007.
The show follows exactly the same set list as its American cousins, with dialogue alterations to allow most of the words which weave together scenes to be repeated in both French and English. The songs are presented entirely in English, as they are in fact in the “French” versions of the films.
‘What Time Is It?’ begins the event as the students march to the show stop, with the routine including the now-infamous single line mexican wave. Cookery tools and mops provide props for ‘Work This Out’, swaying couples accompany the four key singers for ‘You Are The Music In Me’ and the basketball theme of the original show and movie is transferred to baseball with ‘I Don’t Dance’.
A clever routine with blue sheets and parasols gives ‘All For One’ a beach feeling and, returning from the first show, ‘We’re All In This Together’ rounds out the duo of High School Musical shows.
Both High School Musical 2: School’s Out! and High School Musical On Tour continue every day through the Spring and Summer right up until 30th September 2008.