Dave Gee: Entertainment Now: Disney's High School Musical hits the road
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The stars of the hit Disney Channel TV movie High School Musical are to hit the road, for a forty city tour of North American, beginning in San Diego late next month, and winding up in Las Vegas in late January.

The tour will feature High School Musical stars Vanessa Anne Hudgens (Gabriella Montez), Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans), Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans), Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth), and Monique Coleman (Taylor McKessie).

However, the popular Zac Efron (Troy Bolton) is notably absent from the concert tour. He's currently shooting the film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray in Toronto, playing the role of Link Larkin.

He'll be replaced by Drew Seeley, who co-wrote HSM's Breaking Free and basketball anthem Get'cha Head in the Game, and actually sung most of Troy's songs on the movie soundtrack.

High School Musical: The Concert will feature songs from the smash hit film's soundtrack, which is on track to be the year's biggest selling album, going triple-platinum in the United States, and just as popular in other countries.

The concert tour is just the latest in a run of spin-offs from the hit tv movie, including CDs, DVDs, Books, and Clothing.

A live stage version of High School Musical had its world premiere at the prestigious US theatre summer camp Stagedoor Manor in August. Over 1,200 amateur stage productions of HSM are now lined up this school year, as well as a number of professional productions. (Here in New Zealand, Wellington Musical Theatre are planning to stage High School Musical in May 2007).

A sequel, High School Musical 2: Sing It All Or Nothing! is also planned, and will start filming when Zac Efron finishes Hairspray.

All the main cast members will return, with the students organising a talent show during their summer break. The main setting for the film will probably by the Albuquerque Country Club and Golf Course, where characters Ryan and Sharpay are members, and Troy works as a lifeguard.

* Toronto Star: Boy meets girl is never tired
* E! Online: High School Musical Hits the Road

High School Musical: The Concert - Tour Dates...
San Diego, Nov 30; Glendale, Dec 3; Sacramento, Dec 5; San Jose, Dec 6; Stockton, Dec 7; Bakersfield, Dec 8; Portland, Dec 10; Seattle, Dec 11; Salt Lake City, Dec 13; Bossier City, Dec 16; Dallas, Dec 17; Houston, Dec 18; Tampa, Dec 20; Jacksonville, Dec 21; Columbia, Dec 22; Charlotte, Dec 23; Greensboro, Dec 27;
Washington DC, Dec 28; Long Island, Dec 29; Manchester, Dec 30; ** New Year's Gig Added - Uniondale, NY, Dec 31;
Toronto, Jan 2; Rochester, Jan 3; Hartford, Jan 4; Pittsburgh, Jan 6; Albany, Jan 7;
East Rutherford, Jan 8; Worcester, Jan 10; Philadelphia, Jan 11; Cincinnati, Jan 13; Cleveland, Jan 14;
Auburn Hills, Jan 16; Indianapolis, Jan 17; Columbus, Jan 18; Chicago, Jan 19; Milwaukee, Jan 21;
St Louis, Jan 22; Kansas City, Jan 23; Anaheim, Jan 26; Fresno, Jan 27; Las Vegas, Jan 28.