"I feel like everything is being taken to the next level with this season, whether it's the music or the dancing or the storylines," Julia Lester ("Ashlyn") teased. "It's going to be really cool for fans to see how we've elevated this season while keeping the heart and soul of season 1."
Not only does the show have heart and humor, but it also made waves last season for its representation. Frankie A. Rodriguez plays Carlos, an openly gay high school student, and is grateful to be inspiring audiences with this trailblazing role.
"To be the representation that I never got to see with this new generation of people watching, it's just very exciting," Rodriguez said. "The best is when you get the messages from adults [who] reach out and say, 'I would have felt a little less alone if I had this as a kid.'"
"Our writers do an insanely amazing job of keeping our show authentic and true to what real teenagers are going through these days," Lester added.
This season, East High will be performing "Beauty and the Beast" as their spring musical, while facing off against rival school North High in a cutthroat theater competition. While the roles are still under wraps, actor Matt Cornett ("EJ") teased that some of the casting is "not what you would expect."
Rodriguez also promised that fans will "freak out" at Derek Hough's guest appearance. The "Dancing with the Stars" judge plays Zack, Miss Jenn's (Kate Reinders) ex-boyfriend and the new North High theater teacher.
"I saw the guy and I was like, 'That man has the most perfect hair on planet Earth,' and I just need to learn his hair routine," Cornett laughed.
As for what the cast is most excited for audiences to see? Cornett, Lester and Rodriguez all agreed that the fifth episode is their favorite of the season and teased that big things will happen for Carlos.
The series also stars Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Sofia Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Dara Reneé, Joe Serafini and Mark St. Cyr, with Olivia Rose Keegan, Roman Banks, Andrew Barth Feldman and Asher Angel making guest appearances. This season will also feature brand-new solos written by Rodrigo and Bassett.
Season 2 of "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" premieres May 14 on Disney+ with new episodes releasing every Friday.
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