2009 for High School Musical Stars
What’s the future for the HSM kids? Their teacher Alyson Reed tells all
High School Musical 3 was a boxoffice blockbuster this year, and the film turned Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman into full fledged big screen stars. The talented senior class graduated from being Disney Channel cable movie performers to launching their careers in different directions.
Where will they go from here? The lady at the head of the class, Alyson Reed, who played the funny teacher Miss Darbus, has great insight to the future for the HSM stars. Reed became a much-loved “Auntie Mame” type to her young costars, who appreciate Reed’s tremendous background in musical theater, and they don’t mind her telling tales out of school, especially when she thinks so highly of them.
In 2009, Reed predicts a great future for the HSM kids. “I really do adore them all, because I worked with them and I know what they’re really like,” she said.
Zac Efron: “Zac is a major star. And I think he has the hardest row to hoe, with all the media attention, and I’m very proud of the way he is handling all that. Even while we were shooting the first High School Musical movie, after the second night, I said seriously, ‘hang on, you’re going to be the next Bobby Sherman.’ You could just smell it way back then.”
Why the vintage teen idol Bobby Sherman reference? Alyson said, “Because he’s so pretty, people think that he maybe doesn’t have to work that hard. But he does work, and wants to become good at his craft. He’s very interested in becoming a good actor. And he’s just beginning that journey. I’m proud that he’s focused on that more than all the fame and stuff that comes along with performing. He really wants to be good, as opposed to being known for being a personality.”
Vanessa Hudgens: “She just glows, so sweet. Vanessa just has the internal twinkle in her eye. The poise that Vanessa shows at her young age is remarkable. She has her feet firmly on the ground. They all do and that’s a tribute to all of the parents.”
Corbin Bleu, “I adore Corbin. He belongs on Broadway. He could carry a show. He’s kind, funny, charming, a hard worker, so very talented. He’s going to be around for a long time.”
Ashley Tisdale, “She’s hysterical. I always tease her and say she’s ‘the school nerd,’ and she is. She like a goofy nerd, and a great gal.”
Monique Coleman, “MoMo, she is so focused on screen. I think she is an incredible foil for Vanessa. And one of the kindest people I know. She’s wonderful, she was the first to call me back to get involved with a charity that is dear to my heart, Peace for Kids.
Lucas Grabeel, “Lucas is so scary talented. They are all talented and are all going to have huge careers, but out of all the kids, I think Lucas is going to be around for 50 years. He is so talented. An incredible voice, an incredible dancer. He plays instruments. I also say he’s going to be the next Stephen Spielberg. He already has two pilots being looked at right now, he has a feature he wrote and directed, and he has another one that is in development. He is an unbelievable self-starter. Many times I would see him off to the side, because he’s somewhat of a loner. But it’s what’s going on in his mind that is going to serve him well in the long term. He’s a very smart kid.”
All these compliments are from a lady who has such tremendous credits in all areas of show business. Alyson Reed was a super-cool musical star long before she took on the role of America’s favorite teacher, the quirky drama instructor Miss Darbus.
Reed is probably best known for her role in A Chorus Line. She stepped into the spotlight as Cassie in Sir Richard Attenborough’s film adaptation (starring opposite Michael Douglas), after touring with A Chorus Line around the world. She danced her way into the hearts of theater-lovers everywhere, and now she’s been discovered by a new generation who are crazy about the musicals.
She’s a gal who knows talent because she’s been doing musicals since she was seven, and professionally since twelve. Broadway and national tour credits include Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors, plus TV & film gigs.
Reed has also authored a kid’s book series called “Miss Darbus Tells All,” subtitled “Theatrical Tips to Improve Your Everyday Life.” She explained, “The first book is about how to present ‘Your best you!’ I know most of the kids who will love this will never set foot on the stage, but they can learn about life’s ‘do’s and do not’s’ in a fun way. I’m proud of it and it will be out this spring.”
Also, look out for confirmation about another HSM production, with the crew of sophomore Wildcats: Matt Prokop, Justin Martin and Jemma McKenzie-Brown, introduced in HSM3, continuing the musical franchise.