As the saying, the show must go on. In this case, by “show” we mean Tony-award winning actress Laura Benanti’s #SunshineSongs project which showcased high school students who’s spring musicals were canceled because of coronavirus. By “on” we mean picked up by HBO Max. Deadline reports that HBO Max will be producing Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020, a scripted, musical special inspired by Benanti’s #SunshineSongs and starring students from across the U.S singing and dancing from the safety of their own homes. According to a press release from HBO Max, Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020 “will explore tried-and-true themes of classic teen movies through the totally unique lens of a world turned upside down by the global pandemic.” Who doesn’t love a tried-and-true theme from a classic teen movie?
Benanti will executive produce with Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey, and Tom Campbell for World of Wonder Productions and Golden Globe-nominated musician Leland will compose original music for the special. “Our school shows are more than just entertainment. At the very least, they bring our communities together to revel in the talent of our young artists. At their best, they are a life changing experience that these kids will bring with them into the rest of their lives,” said Benanti. “I am thrilled that the #SunshineSongs initiative has put the spotlight on so many incredible young performers; grateful to World of Wonder for its grand vision and to HBO MAX for providing a global platform on which America’s youth can shine!”
So even though this year’s Tony Awards were replaced with a Grease sing-a-long, theater geeks across America now have something to look forward to. Important reminder: HBO Max is home to Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020 while Disney+ is home to High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a separate project about precocious teens who love musical theater. Why don’t we green light a musical series about teens where the title isn’t centuries long. How about… I don’t know I’m just workshopping here, but something like… Glee?