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Zac Efron News Roundup

Putting new zip in 'Beverly Hills, 90210'
Here's casting advice for the next generation of Peach Pit-goers.
By Christine N. Ziemba

WE heard last week that the CW television network was fast-tracking a remake of " Beverly Hills, 90210" -- the teen soap that paved the way for dramas like "Dawson's Creek," "The OC" and reality shows like "The Hills." While series creator Darren Starr isn't involved with the project, Rob Thomas, the mind behind the cheeky "Veronica Mars," is being asked to write about the next generation of Peach Pit-goers.

We know that the original class of West Beverly High left some pretty big shoes to fill, so while the project's still in its nascent stages, we'd like to offer a few suggestions for a few pivotal roles:

"High School Musical" poster boy Zac Efron is a natural for a young Brandon Walsh, and Mary-Kate Olsen, who's already living a Shannen Doherty-like lifestyle, would be perfect as his rebellious twin sister, Brenda.

Until we saw Taylor Kitsch play the brooding football player Tim Riggins in "Friday Night Lights," we thought no one brooded better than Luke Perry's Dylan McKay.

Miley Cyrus is a ringer for Tori Spelling's Donna Martin. Maybe Billy Ray could pull a few strings. And Steve Sanders can only be played by Ian Ziering. Too old? C'mon. Did you seriously believe he was 17 the first time around?


The Daily Green says Zac and Miley 'need to get their green on'


Gen-Teen Greenies (GTG) are gifted, smart and going places -- in their hybrid rides. They eat locally sourced organic munchies, drink fair-trade lattes, tune in to activist songsters like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper, and strive to waste not, want not.

...list of ecoteens and what they do...


Miley Cyrus pledges to be a good role model for young'uns -- so making her colossal concerts enviro-friendly would do the trick.

Can Zac Efron do a bit more than show up to award shows in an eco-limo and wear an OmniPeace T-shirt? Just asking.


Choreographer's peek at 'High School Musical 3'

Chucky Klapow choreographed the dance moves for "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," scheduled for release in theaters in October. He gave us a sneak peek behind the curtain of the surefire box-office hit:

On Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella): "Vanessa is the most naturally gifted in picking up the new moves.

"Things come really easily for her, so she gets lazy with it because she has to wait for the others to catch on. I have to be like, 'Vanessa, let's get working here.'"

On Corbin Bleu (Chad): "Corbin is also a gifted dancer, and he comes from a performing arts background, so he picks things up fast."

On raising the bar: "We only had 10 full days of dancing rehearsal for the first film -- I have no idea how we actually did it! The second movie we took three weeks to do the dancing, and right now we are in the middle of five full weeks of dance rehearsal. This cast is so dedicated and talented. We all raised the bar for 'HSM 2,' now we need to go back to that iconic, basic movement that made the first movie so great."

Note: Rehearsals may have started, but Zac is still in London for at least a day or two more.


Just like in the movie: Actors are often athletes, too
Many now are trying both.

By Brian Truitt

When Zac Efron's character in "High School Musical" darts between basketball practice and play rehearsals, the jocks and drama nerds go ballistic. After all, being a star on both court and stage just isn't cool.

Believe it or not, real life at a real high school isn't much different from the Disney movie. Cole Kouvaris, 17, is captain of his high school soccer and volleyball teams, not to mention a straight-A student. But when he accidentally showed up at soccer practice one day with heavy makeup and enough hair gel to make Little Richard's coif look tame, no one cut him any breaks. He heard his teammates' catcalls even before he arrived on the field.

"The whole team was like, 'Oh, tap dancing, are you?' " says Kouvaris, a senior at The Bolles School in Jacksonville. "And I'd be like, 'Sorry, guys, just doing my best here.' "

Tap dancing, he was. Kouvaris had been cast in the starring role of his school's high-steppin' fall musical, "42nd Street."

As it turns out, there's some truth to the hit teen movie. Like Efron's character, a growing number of teen athletes are removing their uniforms to shine in costume on the stage. The smash franchise "High School Musical" and popular TV shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "American Idol" are inspiring kids to break down stereotypes and test their talents on both field and stage, experts say. Notes teen expert Susan Smith Kuczmarski: "You're finding more of it now because it's very acceptable and cool."

Well, not completely. Student-athlete Kouvaris told his college adviser about his big role in "42nd Street" before he told his parents: "She kept being like, 'It's not like you have to tell them, 'Mom and Dad, I'm going to jail.' "

Erin Moffitt, 16, who is a junior at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Ill., will star this spring both at third base for her softball team and as Sally Slaton in "Parade." Moffitt says having both musical and softball practice on the same day can be tiring. "But it is really fun," she says. "A lot of my friends are involved in both, and it's justa good experience to get the most out of high school that you can."

Sophomore T.J. Manzo, 16, of Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch, N.J., enjoys participating in a musical so much that he regrets he didn't do it sooner. Although he has heard the ribbing from his football teammates and has had to deal with the challenge of juggling off-season weight-lifting sessions along with rehearsals for "Beauty and the Beast," Manzo is excited about showing the school a whole new side of himself.

"I have football friends, theater friends and a lot of female friends as well," says the gridiron defensive tackle and center turned actor. "All of them are telling me, 'I'm gonna be in the front row cheering for you,' and I have to tell them, 'You can't cheer in the theater like that. It's not like football.' "

Yes! I starred in "Annie Get Your Gun."
By Al Harrington
NBA star of California's Golden State Warriors.

You know what was more nerve-racking for me than any basketball game I've ever played in? Performing in my high school's production of "Annie Get Your Gun" -- the first time I had ever performed in a musical in my life. It was a great experience, though, and my English teacher at St. Patrick's High in New Jersey thought my personality could carry the lead, so as a senior, I got the part of cowboy Frank Butler.

It showed a different part of me, that I wasn't just this star basketball player. I shocked my mom and my dad with how well I did. They didn't know what to expect when they came to the show. My mom was like, "Make sure you don't embarrass me." But believe it or not, I nailed it, and everybody thought it was a good thing.

The end of that school year, in 1998, I went on Rosie O'Donnell's show to get a ball signed for an auction. She made me sing "Anything You Can Do" with her on the air. It's my favorite song from the show because it's the easiest one to remember. And I want to also go on record that I am not a good singer at all. I was terrible. This is not a singing voice.

I didn't get much needling from my high school teammates for being in the musical because a lot of them were in it as extras. But when I was drafted by the Indiana Pacers out of high school, a lot of veteran guys busted my chops and would say, "How can the star player be in a musical and be singing?" And when I got to the Warriors last season, guys like Matt Barnes found out, and they were like, "Dude, what were you doing in a musical?" That's not "gangsta."

If you're a high school athlete who wants to try out for a musical, go for it. Obviously, people are going to tease you, but my whole thing is, broaden your horizons. You never know; that musical could have made me also want to be an actor, and maybe my whole life would be different. All kids should try different things because you never know what is your true love.


Central Coast students are leads in local ‘High School Musical’
By Natalie Ragus/Staff Writer

Two local high school students will star in Kelrik Productions’ rendition of the smash hit “High School Musical,” which opens tonight at the Spanos Theater in San Luis Obispo.

Nipomo High School senior Lauren Seidenberg will take on the role of Gabriella, a science geek who snags the lead in the big school show — and the affections of Troy, the school’s resident heartthrob — while Arroyo Grande High School senior Ally Schmitt will play her rival, Sharpay.

Another Arroyo Grande resident, Zac Efron, now 20, shot to fame when he played Troy in the original Disney movie and its two sequels.


As the conversation progressed, Efron’s name naturally came up.

Seidenberg said she went to school with him for two years, but he was several grades ahead of her, and so she has only met him once.

Schmitt, on the other hand, became friendly with Efron while acting in a local production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Like Efron, Schmitt said she plans to make acting her career.

Tags: green, hsm, roundup
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