Thursday, March 5, 2009

You are the Music in Me.

You mean you didn't spend your high school years spontaneously bursting into song?

I have a shameful secret. A guilty pleasure. An embarrassing habit.
Do I have your attention yet?

I love High School Musical, and I am several decades north of Disney’s targeted demographic.

I own the trilogy on DVD. I have the soundtracks on my iPod. I even saw the third movie on opening night in the theaters with other adult HSM, I mean fans. My movie companions were fellow librarians, and we were nervous that we would stick out in a sea of tweens and possibly be recognized by one of our young library patrons. We shouldn't have worried – the audience was much more occupied with squealing at ear-piercing decibels over Zac Efron. Although in my opinion, the real star of the three movies is Lucas Grabeel. This kid has talent that will outlast his High School Musical shelf life, and already flexed his acting chops in the decidedly non-Disney, Oscar-winning film Milk.

The High School Musical phenomenon has spawned a lucrative franchise and numerous copy cats. It’s also had a significant effect on the children’s publishing industry. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the last two years we’ve seen a slew of juvenile and young adult books set in the intriguing world of high school drama clubs. One of the better selections in this burgeoning genre is Dramarama, a teen novel set at a competitive performing arts boarding school.

This year’s Summer Reading Club, Be Creative @ Your Library, focuses on the creative arts. So I shamelessly begged my new colleagues to allow me to throw a High School Musical extravaganza as a school age program this summer. Details about this program are still tentative, but be assured there will be singing - lots of it. Stay tuned for more information. And if you see and hear a red head with delusions of vocal talent butchering “Fabulous”? Be kind.

posted by spb