Unless you've been living under a rock, or don't have any children under 18, you've heard of High School Musical. And to be honest, I'm not sure even Disney knew what a franchise they had on their hands when the movie first came out. But it's grown and expanded, and has infected pop culture. There's even a concert series with the music from the movie. And, of course, a DVD of the concert.
To really understand the concert DVD, you need to have seen the movie. The songs in the concert are out of order as far as the story goes. And the story really isn't that complex — basketball player guy, brainiac girl. Both love to sing, so they do. They end up trying out for the school play, which bothers the school drama queen (and king). So, there's a vast conspiracy to keep the guy and girl from singing. You get a lot of the "You have to do what you're good at, stick to your role," kind of thing. And then, the predictable end, where everything turns out okay and everyone gets what they want. After seeing the movie for the first time, my reaction was "It's Grease 2 for the 21st century!"
The DVD isn't the whole concert, first of all. It contains highlights of the show, including solo performances by Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu, and Ashley Tisdale — all of whom have solo albums coming out VERY soon (surprise, surprise). The purpose of the DVD is, after all, to make you want to go to the concert — and pave the way for HSM2, which is coming out on August 17.
Then there are the bonus features. The reason to get the DVD, rather than TiVo the concert and burn it to DVD (not that anyone does that)? You get to hear four songs from the opening set by Jordan Pruit — who also has a debut CD out, interestingly enough. There's also a compilation of Disney's special "High School Musical On the Road" series, in case you missed any of those. This is essentially a "day in the life" type of feature showing what the tour is like behind the scenes. Then you get to be the director, picking songs and camera angles for your own take of the concert. Fun for the kids. And, of course, a teaser for HSM2.
There were some disappointments on the DVD. My daughter loves Ashley Tisdale, but she only gets one solo. Zach Efron didn't tour (he was busy making Hairspray at the time). And the song selection from the movie was a bit limited.
But the DVD is enough for High School Musical fans, and is the perfect vehicle for Disney to promote the sequel. The video quality is good, and the audio is as well. Recommended for anyone with kids, or who is a kid at heart themselves.