UK HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2 Tour Shutters Three Months Early; Now Closes 2/27 is reporting that the UK tour of High School Musical 2: Live on Stage will close three months early.  The production, a follow-up to the wildly successful original High School Musical, was initially scheduled to close on 29 May, 2010 after launching at London's New Wimbledon Theatre on 22 August.  It will now take its final bow on 27 February, 2010.

The production, which is playing Belfast this week, will complete its engagements in Manchester, Birmingham, Killarney, Derry, Hull, Liverpool, Bristol, Southend and Woking.  Stops in Stoke, Leicester, Edinburgh, Norwich, York, Cardiff and Sunderland have been cancelled. 

A rep for the production says that the economy is to blame.

Based on the hit movie, the original High School Musical is a story about two high school juniors from rival cliques - Troy Bolton, captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella Montez, a beautiful and shy transfer student who excels in math and science. Together, they try out for the lead parts in their high school musical, and as a result, divide the school. Despite other students' attempts to thwart their dreams, Troy and Gabriella resist peer pressure and rivalry, inspiring others along the way not to "stick to the status quo". In a desperate effort to maintain the status quo, the "jocks," the "brainiacs" and even the drama club regulars are soon hatching convoluted plots to separate the pair and keep them offstage. By defying expectations and taking a chance on their dreams, however, the couple inspires other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own.

In it's sequel, High School Musical 2: Live on Stage, Troy, Gabriella, Taylor and Chad work at an exclusive country club,where Ryan and Sharpay are vacationing. The scheming begins with the siblings, whose family owns the club, and comes to a head on the night of the summer talent show.

The touring production, directed by Jeff Calhoun and penned by David Simpatico, currently stars stars Liam Doyle (Troy), Nikki Mae (Gabriella), Les Dennis (Mr. Fulton), Matt Kennedy (Ryan), Laura Hall (Sharpay), Carlton Cornell (Chad), Shakira Akabusi (Taylor), Dina Tree (Martha), and Emma Dukes (Kelsi).

Disney's "High School Musical" premiered in January 2006 on Disney Channel U.S. and posted the highest ever ratings for a Disney Channel Original Movie at the time. It went on to become a smash hit internationally, airing on Disney Channels and free-to-air broadcasters worldwide. To-date, it has reached more than 290 million viewers, in over 30 languages, across 100 countries, including India, China and Russia.

The "High School Musical" soundtrack was the #1 album of 2006 and the DVD was the year's #1 TV movie on DVD. "High School Musical" also delivered licensed amateur and professional touring stage productions, a bestselling junior novel, a popular consumer products franchise at mass retailers, a themed show at Disneyland Parks and Resorts in Anaheim, Orlando and Paris, and a sold-out 42-date arena concert tour in North America and Latin America. Its critically acclaimed sequel, "High School Musical 2," ranks as the #1 basic cable telecast of all time (18.6 million viewers for its August 17, 2007 premiere) and thus far has been seen by nearly 300 million Total Viewers, in over 30 languages, around the world. The "High School Musical 2" soundtrack is triple Platinum and its DVD release was the top-selling TV property on DVD for 2007. Walt Disney Pictures debuted "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" in October 2008. Its premiere weekend box office sales marked the highest debut ever for a musical and for a live-action G-rated film. It grossed $250 million at the worldwide box office.

A theatrical version of the first film, High School Musical on Stage! with music and lyrics by Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray and Greg Cham, Drew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Andy Dodd, Adam Watts, Bryan Louiselle, David N. Lawrence, Faye Greenberg and Jamie Houston, and a book by David Simpatico, has quickly become a very popular choice for high school musical theatre productions.

Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in over 97 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group.

Theater of the Stars is one of the oldest and most respected regional theaters in America. Since our founding in 1953, it has Produced or Presented over 700 productions in Atlanta, across the country, and around the world. Their mission today is the same as it was over fifty years ago - to Produce and Present the best of Broadway musicals.

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