I must admit, the whole High School Musical phenomenon is lost on me. This is, I suspect, due in no small part to my allergic reaction to all things pertaining to movie musicals. The song, the dance, the carrying-on — it’s just too much for me to handle.
However, my ears to perk up when the matter of latent homosexuality is brought up. As such, this article caught my eye. After Elton reports that while the character of Ryan is sexually ambiguous in a hat-wearing, non-significant-other-having way in the movie, he’s pretty much all the way out of the closet in the theatrical production.
Have a look-see at the article:
In the movie, Ryan dresses stylishly, is musically inclined, wears a different hat with every outfit, and, unlike all the other main characters, has no apparent love interest. As a result, many observers, including some here at AfterElton.com, have interpreted him as a “coded gay” character — a character that the creative team conceived of as gay, even if the movies never come out and say so directly.
This ambiguity regarding the character’s sexuality was particularly ironic in light of the fact that the theme of the first movie, which has songs like “Breaking Free” and “We’re All in This Together,” is that everyone should be allowed to be exactly who they are.
However, for the stage adaptation, out playwright David Simpatico chose to make Ryan’s gayness much more explicit.
“I wanted to present Ryan as something from my own past, a version of me, I guess — though he’s a lot better dancer than I ever was!” David says. “In the movie, the character has a gay tint. But in the stage version, I wanted to more fully articulate that tint and say, hey, this kid is who he is. Yes, I consider him a young gay guy without ever having to say it. I’d rather say it with behavior and action. And we do.”
1 comment June 19th, 2008