Wildcats forever! Nearly 16 years after High School Musical premiered on Disney Channel, it still feels like kindergarten between the stars.
“Like no time has passed. #HSM reunion in Paris 🇫🇷👌,” Drew Seeley, who provided the singling vocals for Zac Efron’s Troy Bolton in the first film, captioned a Saturday, November 12, Instagram selfie with his former costars.
The Another Cinderella Story actor, 40, met up with Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel, Bart Johnson and director Kenny Ortega at the “Back to the Musical World 2” convention in Paris. The Dream It event reunited the choreographer, 72, with the casts of High School Musical, Descendants and Julie and the Phantoms, all of which he directed.
The HSM squad later thrilled convention attendees as they recalled memories filming the Disney Channel hit on the mainstage. Seeley and the Princess Switch star, 33, even sang an acoustic rendition of Troy and Gabriella’s ballad “Breaking Free,” per social media footage.
High School Musical premiered on Disney Channel in 2006, starring Hudgens as prodigy Gabriella Montez opposite Efron’s basketball-playing Troy Bolton. After the twosome sparked a karaoke connection over winter break, they were stunned to learn that Gabriella and her mom had just relocated to his native Albuquerque, New Mexico, and enrolled her at the same school of East High. The franchise — which sparked sequels in 2007 and 2009 — also starred Grabeel, 37, Bleu, 33, Monique Coleman and Ashley Tisdale. While the entire crew both acted and sang in the franchise, Seeley notably crooned all of Efron’s solos in the first movie. (The Canada native reprised the role of Troy during the “High School Musical: The Concert” tour.)
“In the first movie, after everything was recorded, my voice was not on them,” Efron, 35, told the Orlando Sentinel in July 2007 of not singing in the first flick. “I was not really given an explanation. It just kind of happened that way. Unfortunately, it put me in an awkward position. It’s not something I expected to be addressed. Then, High School Musical blew up. I’m very fortunate that Drew has gotten proper credit and also that I’ve gotten the opportunity to come back [in the second and third films, respectively] and try it again with my own voice.”
The Hairspray actor was able to provide his own vocals in High School Musical 2 and High School Musical 3: Senior Year, while Seeley never regretted his own experience.
“Any actor would have loved that role, but Zac did a great job. He was the right man for the job,” the songwriter said in an August 2021 TikTok. “[I] did get to do the tours. Everybody wins, much love.”