Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures
As we previously reported, High School Musical's Sharpay will finally get her coveted spotlight. In Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, which goes into production this summer and airs on Disney in 2011, Ashley Tisdale’s pouty drama queen and her dog Boi head alone to New York City for a shot at Broadway glory. No Troy (Zac Efron). No Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens). No Guy-With-The-Groovy Hair (Corbin Bleu).
If this story seems made from a familiar formula, that's because it is: Combine Spiderman’s Broadway-bound Mary Jane Watson with Legally Blonde’s pooch-pouching Elle Woods. Remove movie stars and insert Disney starlet. Watch. Wince. Repeat.
But more than just a Hollywood headline, the Sharpay announcement raises some deep, deep pop cultural questions (the kind that inspire raucous debate on intellectual shows like Showbiz Tonight). With A.J. Hammer outside my cell phone circle, I've taken the liberty to answer them myself.
Question: Will Disney fans show enthusiasm for a Troy-less and Gabriella-less HSM experience?
Answer: I'm thinking "no." HSM without Zac and Vanessa is like Laverne & Shirley without... Laverne & Shirley. I don't recall Lenny and Squiggy getting their own show. (Though they did release an album called "Lenny and the Squigtones". Uh, moving on...)
Question: Will this launch Tisdale into a new level of multi-faceted stardom, or just solidify her Sharpay stereotype?
Answer: Hard to say, given Tisdale's various other screen credits and modest recording success. It'd probably help if she stuck to one hair color.
Question: Is Tisdale ultimately a singer who also acts or an actress who also sings?
Answer: In the world of kids' TV, there's no longer a difference. There is only "entertaining."
Question: What about Lucas Grabeel?
Question: What are the chances Tisdale wouldn't be accepted as an American Idol celebrity judge next year?
Answer: The same chances Randy Jackson pursued a math major in college.
Question: Does this mean I'm going to have to sit through another HSM ice show with my kids?
Answer: Unlikely. But to be honest, it sure beats the circus.