The original High School Musical cast is (all in this) together again. As part of Dream It Convention’s two-day “Back to the Musical World 2” fan event in Paris, beginning Nov. 12, such HSM alums as Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez), Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth), Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans), Bart Johnson (Coach Jack Bolton), Drew Seeley (Troy Bolton’s singing voice), and director Kenny Ortega reunited for a weekend of panels, autograph sessions, and fan photo ops. Luckily, Ortega and Seeley shared some must-see backstage photos on Instagram, for those back stateside.
Along with a “HSM forever” hashtag, Ortega posted an Instagram photo of former co-stars Hudgens, Bleu, Grabeel, and Johnson with their arms around each other on Nov. 12. “Back with my Wildcat family!!” Johnson commented, adding red hearts, a basketball, and paw prints emojis. Meanwhile fellow alum KayCee Stroh, who played Martha Cox, also reacted with three red heart emojis of her own, and Ortega’s Hocus Pocus collaborator Kathy Najimy wrote, “Kenny,” along with, yes, a red heart emoji.
The same day, Seeley added himself and Ortega into the mix for another “HSM reunion in Paris” photo, which he shared to Instagram with the caption, “Like no time has passed.”
In June, Hudgens sparked suspicions she might be reprising her HSM role when she made a mysterious return to East High in Salt Lake City. In the caption of an Instagram video of herself outside the location featured in the Disney franchise, she quoted a line her character said in the first film, writing: “Do you remember in kindergarten how you’d meet a kid and know nothing about them, then 10 seconds later you’re playing like you’re best friends because you didn’t have to be anything but yourself?”
Months later, however, Hudgens shared the reason for her visit to the now-famous school. “My boyfriend was playing in Salt Lake — he’s a baseball player,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly of boyfriend Cole Tucker. “So he was at the field and I had rented a car and I was like, ‘I want to go check it out and take some pictures for old time’s sake.’”
Further fueling rumors at the time was the fact that Zac Efron — who, sadly, was not part of the Paris reunion — also returned to the school, a month later. “Don’t you… Forget about me,” the actor captioned the shot of him standing with a raised fist in front of the real Salt Lake City school, referencing both the Simple Minds song and Judd Nelson’s iconic ending pose from 1985’s The Breakfast Club.
Efron was similarly absent when Hudgens, Bleu, Grabeel, Ashley Tisdale, and Monique Coleman reunited virtually in 2020 for ABC’s Disney Family Singalong special. Even so, he told E! in May that he would be interested in a HSM reboot. “Of course, of course,” the actor answered while promoting his 2022 Firestarter remake. “Seriously, having the opportunity in any form to go back and work with that team would be so amazing. My heart’s still there. That would be incredible. I hope it happens.”