High School Musical: The Concert

Continental Airlines Arena; Mon 8

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Photograph courtesy of Disney

Despite the best efforts of Il Divo and Larry the Cable Guy, the soundtrack to High School Musical—the squeaky-clean Disney Channel flick about a group of Albuquerque kids putting on a show—became 2006’s best-selling release. So how are the youngsters celebrating? By taking the thing on the road, as befits the pop stars they’ve unexpectedly become.

Fans of the movie should recognize much in High School Musical: The Concert. The film’s director-choreographer, Kenny Ortega, is the tour’s creative director, and all but one of the film’s adolescent stars perform in the show. (Zac Efron, who plays hoops hunk Troy, is in Canada shooting the movie version of the musical Hairspray.)

The show also promises solo turns by several cast members with post-HSM careers to think about. Female lead Vanessa Hudgens led the pack with her uneven debut, V, earlier this year; with any luck, she’ll emphasize the album’s up-tempo dance-pop as opposed to its soggy ballads. Ashley Tisdale, who plays the handbag-toting alpha chick Sharpay, is up next: Headstrong, her diva-tastic electro-pop disc, is due out in February (though she’s got a chirpy cover of “Last Christmas” by Wham! on iTunes now). And Efron’s onscreen sidekick Corbin Bleu will preview stuff from the R&B album he’s currently finishing. You might even get a sneak peek at something from High School Musical 2, in preproduction now. — Mikael Wood

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