Television networks are getting creative with their content amid the COVID-19 pandemic, since every show has shut down production. This week, the director of the High School Musical trilogy – Kenny Ortega – has revealed that the main stars of the popular film series will participate in the upcoming ABC special The Disney Family Singalong, including Zac Efron.
Ortega says that he wanted to find something he could do to participate, and the special gave him a purpose to get up every morning. The filmmaker is enjoying the opportunity, and he calls the special “good medicine.”
Zac Efron going to the HSM reunion for the Disney family singalong now why we win pic.twitter.com/sKg7Bmp1U9
— R9 |Hanbin stan (@hanbinflo) April 14, 2020
Ortega told Deadline that Efron (Troy Bolton) will join Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez), Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans), Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans), Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth), and Monique Coleman (Taylor McKessie), but it isn’t clear what Efron’s role will be because he was a last-minute addition.
“We couldn’t reach Zac until late but when we did, he immediately jumped in, of course,” explained Ortega. “Everyone we reached out to was quick — and you’ll see it in their spirit and the way they come together from their homes. They recognize this is an opportunity to strengthen spirits for those joining us for the broadcast.”
Ortega added that several artists from the movies and TV shows he has directed over the years will take part in the special by singing We’re All In This Together with the HSM cast. The 69-year-old explained that he has received videos from doctors, orderlies, nurses, and other medical professionals singing the popular song in the hallways of hospitals.
— billboard (@billboard) April 14, 2020
“You’re hearing those words chanted out,” said Ortega. “It’s a really nice, fun coming together of a lot of young people that are banding together under the lyrics of this song for the show.”
Ryan Seacrest will host The Disney Family Singalong, and in addition to Efron and the cast of High School Musical there will be other big names from the Disney/ABC family who will be taking part in the special.
Artists who are scheduled to appear include: Christina Aguilera, Ariana Grande, Michael Bublé, Kristin Chenoweth, Raven-Symone, Demi Lovato, Jordan Fisher, Josh Gad, Derek Hough, Julianne Hough, Little Big Town, Donny Osmond, Thomas Rhett and John Stamos.
The Disney Family Singalong airs Thursday, April 16 on ABC.