High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is well into its second season with the much-loved cast in the midst of preparing for the Spring Musical, “Beauty and the Beast.” Ashlyn (Julia Lester) is in the lead role as Belle and her friendship with Gina (Sofia Wylie) continues to grow stronger as the show goes on.
Gina has stayed in town as a result of Aslyn offering her to stay. However, Gina has some unresolved feelings for Ricky (Joshua Bassett). Gina revealed her feelings for Ricky during the first season. Ricky, however, is back with Nini by the time Gina tells Ashlyn about her feelings toward him.
Gina believes it is best to move away from East High to Louisiana with her mother. She feels that East High may no longer be home. Ashlyn reassures her that staying would be best by singing the song “Home” from the spring musical. This convinces Gina to stay once more recognizing that East High is where she should stay despite how hard it gets.
“Home” comes from the 1994 Broadway version of “Beauty and the Beast” originally sung by Susan Egan who would go on to voice Megara in 1997’s “Hercules.” The song is sung by Belle immediately after taking the place of her father Maurice in the dungeon. Belle is not sure that this could be her home for the rest of her life, but wants to make the most of her time despite the danger that may be involved in staying.
The musical itself is a collaboration between composer Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice. Rice stepped into the role for the stage production since Howard Ashman, the lyricist for the original 1991 film, passed away before the adaptation became a Broadway mainstay for 13 years. Menken is the namesake for the Alan Menken Award for High School Musicals aka The Menkies (thanks, Miss Jenn).
Ashlyn singing “Home” helps her stay close to Belle as a character as well as open up to Gina about how she feels. Ashlyn knows the high school is Gina home and the drama students are her new family. With “Home,” Ashlyn is telling Gina that even if things don’t go her way, she will still get through it all.
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It’s one of just many moments where familiar songs are used to show what the characters are feeling. In the previous episode, Sebastian sang Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” to Carlos to demonstrate how he is his hero. It makes songs many know already have a new life in a different way.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series still continues to be an exciting watch with Ashlyn and Gina getting more time in the spotlight. As the series goes on, hopefully their stories get bigger and daring.