Tonight on ABC, the original cast of High School Musical will reunite via live stream to sing “We’re All in This Together.” The Disney Family Singalong airs at 8 p.m. ET.
Deadline spoke with High School Musical director Kenny Ortega who said he was immediately on board to participate in the special when ABC and Bob Iger asked him to do so.
“I wanted to find something I can do to participate and it was so great to be given the call and invited by ABC to join,” Ortega told Deadline. “It gave me a purpose to get up every morning. I feel really good that we have an opportunity to do something like this — it’s good medicine.”
Zac Efron Will Join the Reunion
It’s unclear whether or not Efron will be singing with the group since Ortega said it took some time to be able to contact him, meaning he was a last-minute addition to the special. Efron has said multiple times that he’d be open to coming back to High School Musical for a special, and he is not “ashamed” that he did the movie.
“We couldn’t reach Zac until late but when we did, he immediately jumped in, of course,” he said. “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.”
High School Musical original cast Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman and Lucas Grabeel will all be participating in the schedule in one way or another.
Ashley Tisdale shared a screenshot of Ortega’s interview with Deadline on her Instagram, writing “ITS HAPPENING!!!! We have reunited for a special night just for you guys! … Honestly all I want to do in this moment is to bring everyone some joy.”
Ashley Tisdale Has Been Sharing HSM Content on TikTok
Throughout the social distancing guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic, Tisdale has taken to TikTok to share High School Musical content including videos of herself singing and dancing to the songs from the original trilogy. She uploaded a video of herself dancing to “We’re All in This Together” on March 16 with the caption “If you need to workout while on #selfquarantine try this … hopefully this will brighten your day a little!”
Ortega credits Tisdale with starting the trend of medical professionals and others posting videos of themselves singing “We’re All In This Together.”
“I think Ashley started this whole movement with her home video,” he said. “I can’t imagine that Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil, who wrote this song, had any idea that it would have the legs and perhaps mean more now than when we first did it.”
Ortega continued, saying that the artists have a lot of young people who look up to them and seeing them in their “living rooms and in their sweatpants hanging out with their families” helps people know there’s truth behind the song.
The Disney Family Singalong will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will include performances from stars like Christina Aguilera, Michael Buble, Kristin Chenowith, Ali’i Cravalho, John Stamos, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Josh Groban, Darren Criss, Tori Kelly and more.