Today’s the day we’ve been waiting for. Disney+ announced what production the cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series will be tackling in their second season. Bad news, they’re stepping away from the High School Musical franchise, something we knew was going to happen. Good news, they’re staying close to their Disney roots and their fall musical will be … Beauty and the Beast! Oh, and the cast and creators have promised that we’re still going to get High School Musical AND original songs in season two too!
To say I’m excited is an understatement!
If you watched the first season you’ll know the casting process was extremely difficult for Miss Jenn and the students. Everyone was vying for the roles of Troy and Gabriela and I’m certain we’re going to see the same sense of competition when they go out for Belle and the Beast.
One big thing to consider for this season is the possibility that Nini might not be an East High Wildcat anymore. Obviously, her presence or absence is going to affect the casting. It’s also worth noting that the season one finale of HSMTMTS left us with a hint that two other cast members have a lot of talent that we didn’t get to see — Kourtney and Big Red.
With all these factors in play, my mind immediately started wondering who was going to be playing who. I’ll admit I had some crazy thoughts — like Ashlyn and Big Red taking the stage as Belle and the Beast but I’ve reigned them in a bit. So without further ado, here are my casting predictions for HSMTMTS‘s production of Beauty and the Beast.
Ricky as the Beast
With Ricky’s newfound love for theater and a leading role under his belt, there’s no denying that he’s probably going to go out for the lead role in Beauty and the Beast. Though it might be fun to see him channel his inner anger and take on the role of Gaston or even channel is goofiness into Lefou, he’s destined to be the Beast.
One of Ricky’s strong suits according to Miss Jenn is his ability to relate to the material and make it feel real. I think Ricky can relate to the Beast. They’re both still learning to be comfortable with themselves and trying to adjust to their new normal. And they’re both a tad insecure. Beast definitely has more of a temper than Ricky has but it’ll be a challenge I know he’ll be willing to take.
Besides, if nothing else Ricky has to be the Beast because Nini is obviously going to be Belle and their real-life love story parallels Belle and Beast’s love story to a tee.
Nini as Belle
Nini’s future at the end of season one is unclear. She has just been offered a spot at a prestigious arts school in the city but she’s also just rekindled her relationship with Ricky. Just like in the original HSM franchise, Nini’s going to be forced to choose between her dreams and her relationship.
To be honest, I think Nini is going to give the new school a shot and realize she hates it making her transfer back to East High just in time to audition for Beauty and the Beast. I’m really, there’s no possible way they can put on this production without their star. Sure, Gina, Ashlyn or even Seb could rise to the occasion of being Belle, but no one is more inherently Belle than Nini.
And like I said, she has to be Belle because Ricky has to be the Beast because their love story is Beauty and the Beast. I mean come on the song “Beauty and the Beast” was practically written for them!
E.J. as Gaston
If Ricky is Beast, E.J. is going to be Gaston there’s no question about it.
Unlike E.J.’s disappointment in being cast as Chad in the first season, I think E.J. would love being cast as Gaston. I also think it would allow him to show Miss Jenn that he can connect to the material. After all, he basically was Gaston last season.
E.J. and Gaston have a lot in common. Plus, I really do think E.J. has the perfect singing range for Gaston.
Gina as Babette
For those of you not familiar with the Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast, Babette is the feather-duster who has a bigger role than she does in the film. And Gina is the perfect Babette!
Babette is confident, fun, and flirt. So, basically, she’s Gina if Gina was turned into a feather-duster. She also gets to dance the Tango with Lumiere which Gina would obviously be great at giving her dancing talents.
Honestly, I think it would be a really fun role for Gina to tackle and she needs a little bit of fun right now! Plus, it would be fun to see Gina get to perform an original song as Babette.
I will say, I would also love to see Gina take on Lumiere’s role but for now, I’m sticking with my prediction that she’ll be Babette … unless they decide to get ride of Babette’s character which would be a shame.
Ashlyn as Mrs. Potts
I hate to typecast since Ashlyn played the motherly role in their production of High School Musical, but in this case, I just can’t help it. Ashlyn would make the perfect Mrs. Potts.
Ashlyn is kind and sincere. She wants everybody to be happy. She looks after her friends. I mean, hell, she basically invited Gina to live with her so she doesn’t have to leave East High!
Mrs. Potts is also kind and sincere. She’s attentive to Chip and to Belle. She just wants to make Belle feel comfortable and at home in her scary new reality. Ashlyn did the same thing for Nina when she got cast as Gabriela.
There’s just no denying it Ashlyn would make the perfect Mrs. Potts. Plus, she would kill it seeing “Beauty and the Beast.”
If for some reason Nini doesn’t return to East High, the only other person I would accept as a Belle is Ashlyn. They have a lot in common too. Plus if Big Red somehow manages to be the Beast well then their love stories will parallel too.
Big Red as LeFou
Last season Big Red was part of the crew which was a perfect place for him to be. After his epic tap number in the season finale, I can’t help but feel like it’s Big Red’s turn to take the stage. Though I’d love to see Big Red tackle the Beast or even Lumiere, I think he’ll shine the best as LeFou. Plus, it’s a minor role to ease him into the acting life of the theater world.
LeFou and Big Red have a lot in common in that they’re both underdogs and kind of goofy. Even though they’re similar, Big Red might find LeFou challenging to play if E.J. is in fact cast as Gaston because they’re supposed to be best friends. What’s even more fun about this is that it could add some off-stage drama to the season. Who knows maybe Big Red and E.J. will really hit it off making Ricky jealous.
Kourtney as Madame De La Grande Bouche
If you didn’t know who Babette was you probably don’t know who Madame De la Grande Bouche is. Well, she’s the enchanted wardrobe who used to be a famous opera singer. Obviously, she’s the perfect role for Kourtney who we have just learned can really belt out a song.
Not only can Kourtney sing, but she also loves the world of fashion and was part of the costuming department during season one. Hello, she’s basically already Madame De La Grande Bouche just in reverse.
Seb as Lumiere
Lumiere was really hard for me to envision. Not because the HSMTMTS cast couldn’t do him justice but because so many of them could! Eventually, I ended up deciding that Seb would make the perfect Lumiere.
Lumiere is charming and so is Seb. He’s also gets arguably one of the best numbers in the entire musical which obviously Seb would love! We’ve seen Seb command the stage as Sharpay and kill it which makes me know that he would kill it as Lumiere.
Carlos as Cogsworth
Similar to my struggle with casting Lumiere, Cogsworth was another difficult one for me to envision. Honestly, Seb could make an amazing Cogsworth too but I think I’m going to stick with my prediction that Carlos will be Cogsworth.
Now, in the first season, Carlos stayed behind the scenes, working as assistant director and choreographer. Obviously, he loved his job but I for one would love to see him take center stage this time around.
Cogsworth would be a fun character for Carlos to take on because they’re similar and yet different. Carlos knows how to have fun, something Cogsworth isn’t so great at. But he’s also very tightly-wound and loves perfect, which is literally the Broadway character description of Cogsworth.
Plus, I love the idea of watching Carlos and Seb play off each other on stage!
As far as Chip and Maurice go well, maybe they’ll be played by some new characters. I mean this is a high school show so people are going to graduate. It’s always a good idea to bring in younger cast members. We’ll just have to wait and see!
As I said, I have a few crazy theories but these are my more realistic predictions for who will be cast in East High’s production of Beauty and the Beast. I can’t wait to see if I’m right or wrong!
What do you think? Do you agree with me? Who would you like to see be Belle and the Beast? Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting be @3RsBlog.
Don’t forget season one of High School Musical, The Musical, The Series is streaming now on Disney+, along with a sing-a-long version. Season 2 is expected to start streaming in late-2020.
Featured Image Source: Disney/Disney+ | ET Online