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Cast of Disney Channel's "High School Musical" to go on tour

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Cast of Disney Channel's "High School Musical" to go on tour

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You'd think that -- what with the record-breaking sales of the "High School Musical" soundtrack (This certified-platinum CD returned to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Top 200 chart just last week)

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plus the fact that this wildly popular Disney Channel TV movie has become the very first full-length feature film to be available for purchase on Apple iTunes plus the fact that Buena Vista Home Entertainment will be releasing the sure-to-be-best-selling DVD version of "High School Musical" to stores on May 23rd -- that the Walt Disney Company is already seriously cashing in on the popularity of this TV musical.

Ah, but when it comes to the Mouse ... What's that old Texas saying? "Too much ain't enough"?

Soooo ... Even though Mickey is already planning on shooting two sequels to "High School Musical" (With the second installment due to go before the cameras in Utah sometime later this fall), the Walt Disney Company is still looking for additional ways to cash in on the HSM craze. And given that the last musical that America embraced with this sort of fervor was 1987's "Dirty Dancing" ... Well, the Mouse has now begun cribbing from "Dirty Dancing" 's old playbook.

"How so?," you ask. Well, how many of you remember "Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert"? The live stage version of this Vestron Pictures release that toured the United States in 1988? This was the show where professional dancers recreated memorable moments from that Emile Ardolino motion picture, while Bill Medley & Eric Carmen sang their hits from the "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack live on stage.

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The "Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert" tour eventually went on to become one of the top grossing shows of the 1988-1989 season. It would also go on tour internationally as well as lead to the creation of the best-selling "Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert" VHS tape and soundtrack album. Which then helped Vestron extend the "Dirty Dancing" brand.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

"So what does this have to do with 'High School Musical'?," you query. Well, clearly there have to be some Jennifer Grey & Patrick Swayze fans inside the Team Disney building. For -- sometime over the next ten days -- several members of the cast of this Disney Channel movie will be making an appearance on the nationally syndicated "Access Hollywood" television show. And -- after performing "We're All In This Together" (I.E. One of the hit song from this TV movie's score) -- these teen performers will first talk up the soon-to-be-released DVD version of "High School Musical" and then reveal that a live stage version of this film will be stopping at various concert venues around the United States sometime later this year.

Don't believe me? Okay. Then check out these domain names that the Walt Disney Company registered just yesterday:


As for tour dates, the various venues that this live stage version of "High School Musical" will be visiting or even which members of the film's cast will be taking part in the tour ... Well, that's all up in the air right now, folks. A lot depends on how the still-on-going negotiations finish up.

What is known is that the concert version of "High School Musical" will be taped at various stops along the tour. And that this footage will then be used as a part of a new TV special that will air on the Disney Channel sometime later this year.

And -- of course -- a CD of the concert version of "High School Musical" will roll into stores just about the same time that this TV special first begins airing on the Disney Channel. And then three to four months after that, a DVD version of this concert version of "High School Musical" will appear on store shelves. And one of the extra added features on this DVD will be footage from the concert tour that was not shown on the Disney Channel special as well as the first-ever preview for "High School Musical II."

So as you can see ... Just like Vestron Pictures did back in 1988, the Walt Disney Company is looking for additional ways to extend the "High School Musical" brand.

Which might seem greedy to a lot of you folks out there. But me ... Well, I'll say this much for the Mouse: Disney's certainly not going to make the same mistake that the folks associated with "Dirty Dancing" did. Which is wait 17 years 'til they finally got around to shooting the sequel, "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights."

Disney knows that -- because "High School Musical" 's biggest fans are tweens -- that this TV movie will quickly fall from favor once its core audience moves on to the next fad. Which is why it's crucial for Mickey to move fast if he wants to continue to cash in on this phenomenally successful TV movie.

So look for some sort of announcement regarding the concert version of "High School Musical" next week as part of the cast's appearance on "Access Hollywood."

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