High School Musical 2

American Broadcasting Companies, Inc./Ida Mae Astute

At 8 p.m. tonight, I highly recommend you slap on a pair of earplugs, shut all your windows and, if possible, stick your head inside a sound-proof vault. 'Cause all around the country, tweenage girls are going to scream bloody murder in unison as the man who's become something akin to the new generation's Elvis takes the small screen: One Mr. Zac Efron.

In case you didn't know, Zac has become an overnight megastar among young teens, even gracing the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and tonight, he returns to the Disney Channel in the long-awaited High School Musical 2.


My cohort in WWKrime Jennifer Godwin slapped on her "I Heart Zac" shirt and hit Disneyland earlier this week to witness Zacmania in person and also gather deets on HSM2 at the big premiere party. According to her, here's the nitty-gritty you fans need to know:

School's Out (for Summer):  In case you haven't seen the commercials a trillion times or haven't been talking about High School Musical 2 on the Internet for months now, you should know that HSM2 leaves the confines of East High for the Lava Springs Country Club. Sharpay and Ryan are members; Troy, Gabriella, Taylor, Chad and friends all get jobs there to earn money for cars and college.

Zac Efron

Rena Durham/ZUMApress.com

Don't Stare Directly into the Zac:  If you are a youngster right now, the only star bigger than Efron is the sun. His glory is such that as he passes by at the premiere's after-party, round-faced eight-year-olds exclaim, "Oh my god, that's Zachary David Alexander Efron! He's eating dinner! I'm not going to bother him. I respect him too much."

The Next Big Thing:  Ashley Tisdale's misguided spotlight hog, the flamboyant Sharpay Evans, steals the Musical again. If she plays her cards right, Tisdale should be the latest breakout star to emerge from the Disney Channel empire, following in the storied footsteps of Hilary Duff and Shia LaBeouf. Keep an eye out for her "Fabulous" number, which borrows Esther Williams-style synchronized swimming and Busby Berkeley-influenced geometric choreography from the musicals of old.

Vanessa Hudgens

Todd Williamson/WireImage.com

Famous Fans:  High School Musical has friends in high places. Tuesday's premiere was attended by the likes of Posh and Becks, Cindy Crawford, Vanessa Williams (along with Ugly Betty costars Tony Plana and Mark Indelicato—love them!), Lori Loughlin and Ricky Schroeder. They all had their munchkins in tow, of course. At the party, Cindy Crawford wasn't exactly a wallflower, but Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana) and the HSM2 cast were the only stars that were absolutely mobbed by the other guests.

Three-Peat! The actors are optimistic about High School Musical 3, said to be slated for the big screen in 2008. Nothing is set in stone, but Olesya Rulin, who plays shy composer Kelsi, is optimistic, saying, "I hope it does [come together]. We'll see, I guess. We'll have to have faith."

Millions of tweenagers wait with bated breath. High School Musical 2, meanwhile, premieres tonight at 8/7 Central. See you there.

—Reporting by Jennifer Godwin

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