We all know her as the young Gabriella Montez from High School Musical, the nerdy new kid who falls in love with star athlete Troy Bolton (Zac Efron). After three incredible productions under the High School Musical franchise, Miss Vanessa Hudgens has broken out of the Disney image and into different spotlights of music, fashion and Broadway.
Known for her breakout role as Candy in Spring Breakers alongside another Disney face Selena Gomez, the first generation half Filipina actress has recently made the move over to live stage theater winning the role of Rizzo, our favorite lady in Pink (other names to include in this Fox production is Julianne Hough as Sandy, Keke Palmer as Marty and Carley Rae Jepson and Frenchy).
The live production aired last night and surprisingly was well received by audiences everywhere. Fox studios commented that despite “the early rain, some tricky costume changes, a mortifying loss of audio and a cast member’s heartbreak,” the telecast served an electric and honorable rendition of one of the biggest movie musicals in Hollywood history
Real credit goes to Vanessa Hudgens, who hours before she would be summoned onto live television, received tragic news that her father lost the battle to Stage IV cancer.
(Watch her live performance of ‘There are worst things I could do’)
The young starlet memorialized her father’s sudden passing by dedicating last night’s performance to him. Musical reviews all around commented on the overall cast performance but made a point to credit Miss Hudgen’s strength to take on the ‘show-must-go-on’ attitude after receiving the terrible news. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel referenced Vanessa’s incredible courage by tweeting “Imagine you had Vanessa Hudgens’ day, and doing that,” “What a superhero. In total awe.” Last night’s Rizzo performance placed Vanessa even further apart from her past-time role as Gabriella and assuredly opened up a new lane for the young actress/singer.
Our condolences to Miss Hudgens as she mourns the loss of her father.