Season 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series continues with its 11th episode, “Showtime.” In the previous episode, the Wildcats decide to split up and have two separate sleepovers to brainstorm ideas after a disastrous dress rehearsal. However, these sleepovers bring out hidden secrets and big reveals amongst the group. Seb (Joe Serafini) and Carlos (Frankie A. Rodriguez) are avoiding each other because of what happened during Spring break. Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) finds out that Gina (Sofia Wylie) thought Ricky (Joshua Bassett) sent her chocolates on Valentine’s Day and confronts her about it. Ricky receives an unexpected phone call from Lily (Olivia Rose Keegan).
In “Showtime,” the Wildcats are finally ready to put on their production of “Beauty and the Beast.” However, most of the cast is really nervous, especially with what’s at stake. Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) also gets nervous after learning that a judge from the Menkie awards is in the audience. Ricky and Ashlyn (Julia Lester) both try to put aside their injuries and perform as the two leads since no understudies were cast. Nini tries to motivate the cast by reminding them what’s at stake and highlighting the work they’ve all put in. Also, the cast must deal with unexpected surprises and uninvited guests.
As with the two-part finale of Season 1, “Showtime” showed various performances of songs and scenes from the Wildcats’ musical. Though this season didn’t focus much on their rehearsals, it was exciting to see how the finished product turned out. Stand-out performances were “Be Our Guest” and “Something New.” Carlos and Courtney (Dara Renee) did an outstanding rendition of “Be Our Guest.” The energy and chemistry that they brought to the song made their performance feel unique while still recreating the same feeling that the song establishes. Ricky and Ashlyn singing “Something New” was adorable and their characters’ love was palpable. It’s fantastic to see Ashlyn being given the leading role rather than having the same leads every season.
The nerves that the cast felt throughout “Showtime” was an interesting dilemma for them to go through. It’s obvious that the cast would have nerves in terms of opening night, especially with the Menkies, but it was surprising to see how far it affected some of them. Miss Jenn, in particular, began to snap at some of her students, which is something she doesn’t usually do. Seeing how much she cared about the awards but also how that affected how she would treat her students was interesting to see. By the end of the episode, her realization of what she’s done provides an intriguing arc for her character to go through for next week’s finale.
One of the biggest disappointments from “Showtime” was the fact that it glossed over the North High drama club’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” Throughout the entire season, North High’s drama club was hyped up as worthy competition for the Wildcats. This implied that the final showdown between these 2 drama clubs would bring performances that surpassed those from the Season 1 finale. However, a line was quickly dropped that North High already had their performance. Not only is this incredibly disappointing but it also defeats the purpose of having North High be a part of the season to begin with. All this build-up was just wasted potential for what should have been a real challenge for the Wildcats to face.
Ultimately, “Showtime” does a great job establishing the nerves that the Wildcats are feeling and shows the dedication that they put into their performances. The performances for the songs and scenes show how talented the cast is and the passion that went into recreating such an iconic musical. The nerves that the cast had throughout the episode were justified and the effects it had on them were handled well. With the season finale next week, it will be interesting to see how the ending of the episode carries over into what happens.
The Season 2 finale of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series will air next week, exclusively on Disney+.
HSMTMTS Season 2 Episode 11 - "Showtime"
Showtime” does a great job establishing the nerves that the Wildcats are feeling and shows the dedication that they put into their performances. The performances for the songs and scenes show how talented the cast is and the passion that went into recreating such an iconic musical. The nerves that the cast had throughout the episode were justified and the effects it had on them were handled well.