Musicals; are some just versions of the same?

Image from Wikipedia

Right now, I’m watching High School Musical. Yes, I used to be addicted to this one. I mean seriously, who cannot swoon over some Zac Efron? Besides the fact that I own this movie, along with it’s sequels and soundtracks and know every song by heart and can probably recognize the scene and singing voice of the characters. Although I haven’t upgraded to knowing every line in the whole darn movie, I can most likely still speak some quotable.

But after all these years, I have noticed some similarities between High School Musical and another musical favourite of mine; Grease. I mean the movie version to you yanks, (I’ve actually had the pleasure of seeing Grease in the theatre when I was young, :) ).

I usually tend to pick apart movies now, since I’m always a fan of book-to-movie genres and I’m always pointing out or complaining the lack of similarity between the two.

In comparing these two musicals, it is easy to assume that HSM may be a modern Grease.

For example, the two main characters meet during vacation, Troy and Gabriela meet during Winter and Danny and Sandy meet during Summer break. Also they both end up going to the same school. Odd huh?

Some other similarities are in that the boy is different alone with a girl than with his friends, and they always end up fighting etc. The characters, in a sense, are similar as well. Take Danny and Troy for example, both popular at school and with the ladies, (although Danny is not good at sports at first, but eventually gets a letter in Track) and they are both equally swoon worthy ;). Sandy and Gabriela, both smart, good girls end up moving to a new town, (although, Gabriela doesn’t turn into a basketball star at the end of the movie like Sandy turns into a bad girl, she does show some sports skill in a certain portion of the movie).

Image from Wikipedia

Sharpay and Rizzo, both the antagonists in their own way, Sharpay trying to sabotage the callback and Rizzo… being an overall bad chick. But they both have beef with the main girl, Rizzo even singing a song about making fun Sandy, ouch.

The main characters both have buddies to back them up, Troy has his basketball buddies, Danny has the T-Birds. Sandy has Frenchy and Gabriela has Taylor.  I’ve also noticed a similarity, small, but at least I think it’s a similarity between Kelsi, the composer of the play and Frenchy. They are both trying to be heard in a way, trying to do what they want to do.

Both of the female antagonists have boys coming after them, Sharpay with Zeke trying to feed her cookies and creme brulee and Rizzo with Kenickie, her boyfriend.

Another fact I want to add, not a similarity. While the characters in Grease do their own singing and most do in HSM, except for Zac Efron. The director thought his singing voice was too low for the part, but he liked him so much that he recorded some guy named Andrew to do Troy’s singing voice.

Both movies have big ending dance numbers, with similar song titles… “We’re All In This Together” and “We Go Together”. Coincidence? I think not.

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