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  1. #1

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    'HSM - The Concert' review - Los Angeles Times 1/29/07


    (Christine Cotter / LAT)
    POP MUSIC REVIEW
    A growing-pain stage

    By turning its TV-movie hit 'High School Musical' into a concert tour, Disney gives it the old college try. That's part of the problem.

    By Richard Cromelin
    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    January 29, 2007

    Innocence is a fleeting thing in the world of teen and preteen pop remember how quickly Britney went from book bag to bustier? The Disney organization might try to keep a tighter leash on the process, preserving the wholesomeness of its stable of music and TV stars even as they near the treacherous shoals of young adulthood, but it can be tricky.

    Case in point: "High School Musical: The Concert," which played at the sold-out Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday and comes to Staples Center tonight. If the Disney folks have trouble translating the carefree charm of their popular 2006 TV movie to its stage version, you know it's something more fragile than it appears.

    The raw materials were certainly here. The songs from "High School Musical" form a compendium of throwback pop that perfectly captures the movie's unreal but welcoming world of East High School, where the game-winning shot and the role-winning audition, not drugs and gang fights, are the issues that matter.

    The music, from buoyant sunshine-pop to roof-raising soul celebrations, doesn't sound calculated for commercial impact in today's environment of hip-hop and synthetic pop, and the soundtrack CD becoming last year's biggest-selling album was an encouraging surprise, as when kids select a cereal that's actually good for them.

    Taking it on the road as a concert made sense financially, both as a ticket-selling machine and as a promotional vehicle, but in beefing it up into something bigger than just a live reprise of the songs, something was lost, and "High School Musical" itself took a back seat to big-production showcases for three of the movie's stars.

    If Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale were ideal schoolgirls a couple of years ago when the movie was made, they're now young women, and their grown-up outfits and dance moves and the relatively generic nature of their own music removed their spotlight segments from the "HSM" spirit.

    Corbin Bleu fared a little better, his own antic personality and rhythm-rooted music capturing a youthful exuberance that peaked in a drum corps-assisted blowout from his upcoming album.

    One major no-show compounded the problem. Zac Efron, the movie's leading man, is busy shooting a movie, and no one else could provide his element of upright earnestness. In fact, his replacement, Drew Seeley, looked and sounded a little too old and experienced, suggesting a college dude who hangs out with high-school kids. A little creepy, especially in his romantic duets with Hudgens.

    Not that the concert ever became tawdry or unseemly. It just missed the essence of its premise. Tisdale and Hudgens actually seemed more like kids play-acting as adults (the former as a Gwen Stefani wannabe, the latter a Rihanna aspirant) than the real thing, and when they came back to earth from their big productions, they regained their appeal.

    Lucas Grabeel, Tisdale's smarmy brother Ryan in the movie, was the effusive if sometimes long-winded host of the 90-minute show, whose level of discourse was pitched for the littlest ones. The singers delivered declarations of gratitude to the fans for their support, and Grabeel got a loud response when he asked how many people were attending their first concert.

    Somewhere between low-rent and Broadway-big, the production values were in line with the typical modern pop concert, with a six-member band giving things some live punch and the troupe of dancers (including cast member Monique Coleman, who also has made a mark on "Dancing With the Stars") adding energy and spirit.

    In any case, there may well be another chance to get it right. At the end, the stage backdrop proclaimed the perhaps inevitable words: "High School Musical 2 ... This summer."
    http://www.calendarlive.com/music/po...,5421152.story

  2. #2

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    Re: 'HSM - The Concert' review - Los Angeles Times 1/29/07

    One problem with all these reviews... nobody has done any research to realize the Zac Efron fill in, wasn't really a fill in. He was the guy that actually did the majority of the lead vocals on the Soundtrack.

  3. #3

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    Re: 'HSM - The Concert' review - Los Angeles Times 1/29/07

    Ashley Tisdale is older than me.

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    Re: 'HSM - The Concert' review - Los Angeles Times 1/29/07

    I think pushing links is tabu here, but was surprised the LA Times couldn't come up with a better picture than that (it's blurry). Here's links to mine.

    http://www.tommy2.net/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=207

  5. #5

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    Re: 'HSM - The Concert' review - Los Angeles Times 1/29/07

    Recently Reviewed

    High School Musical: The Concert

    (Staples Center, Los Angeles; 15,000; $58.50 top)

    By Michael Speier
    Variety
    January 31, 2007

    Presented by AEG Live. Reviewed Jan. 29, 2007.

    With: Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel, Ashley Tisdale, Monique Coleman, Drew Seeley.
    Also appearing, Jordan Pruitt.

    If attracting 15,000 screaming fans -- from age 6 to 60 -- doesn't prove once and for all that "High School Musical" has become the pop culture movement of its time, then nothing will. The kids appearing on the biggest-selling album of 2006 -- and in the Emmy-winning Disney Channel movie -- wrapped up their 40-city tour and put an exclamation point on the fact that this little bubble-gum pop tuner is the perfect project for the zitgeist set, their younger siblings and their parents. "HSM" nation is huge.


    For the uninitiated, "High School Musical" is "Fame" meets "Grease" meets "Romeo and Juliet," and its collection of catchy songs, wholesome moments, and, frankly, smokin' hot kids has melded into the ultimate phenomenon among TV projects.

    Show translated a little awkwardly to the stage, however. The enthusiasm was all there, but innocence was replaced with a tawdry-ish sex appeal that seems out of line with both this specific project and Disney properties in general.

    The movie was rooted in puppy-dog eyes and first crushes, but the marketeers have ably amped up the stage show's bump-and-grind factor by allowing three of its stars -- Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu and Vanessa Hudgens -- to showcase songs from their new albums. The result: HSM's friendship anthems were peppered with provocative moves that, well, kept the dads involved.

    Even losing its biggest star didn't hurt an ounce: Zac Efron, the big name and "matinee idol" of the gang, was off filming "Hairspray," so Drew Seeley -- Efron's singing voice in the movie -- filled in throughout the tour perfectly. (The fact that Efron was the only one with a voice double also shows he probably is the one cast member who can't carry a similar tune.)

    In typical Disney marketing fashion, the Mouse used the opportunity to tout its latest creation, Jordan Pruitt, who, of course, told everyone when they could buy her upcoming album.
    http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117...goryid=34&cs=1

  6. #6

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    Re: 'HSM - The Concert' review - Los Angeles Times 1/29/07


    Photo by Kelly A. Swift for the OC Register
    'High School Musical' scores review

    Concert version of Disney hit gives fans what they crave.

    By PETER LARSEN
    The Orange County Register
    Monday, January 29, 2007

    If you looked around the arena during "High School Musical: the Concert" on Friday and were surprised to see nearly everyone singing along to almost every song, well, you didn't pay much attention to pop culture over the past year, did you?

    For "High School Musical" was one of the biggest entertainment stories of 2006 a blockbuster hit on the Disney Channel from the first of many times it aired, and with more than 3.6 million CDs sold, the best-selling album of the year.

    Even if you'd never seen the movie or heard the songs a possibility given the elementary-to-high-school audience it targeted its popularity was so broad it would have been hard to miss.

    So when the concert tour finally hit Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, it was a dream come true for fans fortunate enough to score tickets to see their heroes in the singing-and-dancing flesh.

    At 8 p.m. sharp the red curtain hiding the stage dropped to reveal the basketball scoreboard from the movie on a giant video-screen backdrop. As the scoreboard clock ticked down to zero, the band hit the first notes of "Start of Something New" and the crowd erupted in a deafening chorus of "OMG!-there-they-are!" screams.
    The show wrapped up with a three-song set that featured all of what made "High School Musical" a success the upbeat and fun "Bop to the Top" featuring Tisdale and Grabeel, the romantic ballad "Breaking Free," a duet by Hudgens and Seeley, and a feel-good finale, "We're All In This Together" by the full cast.

    The message of that final number no matter the differences, everyone can be on the same team was perfectly clear if you looked away from the stage as it was sung. All manner of fans the kindergartener across the aisle, a trio of teenage boys a few rows back, moms and daughters everywhere were singing along.

    And if a show makes that many people feel that good, you'd have to embrace the moment. After all, if the past year proved anything about "High School Musical" it's probably that resistance is futile.
    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...le_1557634.php
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  7. #7

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    Re: 'HSM - The Concert' review - Los Angeles Times 1/29/07


    More, new 'High School Musical'

    First came High School Musical, the Disney Channel movie. Then the DVD. Then the concert tour. And now High School Musical: The Concert DVD, reports our own Mike Snider. Due out June 26, the DVD includes live performances from the 42-city concert tour.

    In addition to performing all the songs from the film, Musical stars Corbin Bleu, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale perform material from their current or future solo albums. And here's a cool feature: a “U Direct” special feature lets DVD viewers choose between four different camera angles.
    http://blogs.usatoday.com/entertainment/

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