Tech rehearsals are proof that everything can either come together or fall apart all before opening night of a big show. This episode shows just that, including a spooky theater, a romantic confession, and a dream sequence!
If you need a quick recap, check out our reviews on Episode 1, “The Audition” , Episode 2, “The Read-Thru”, Episode 3, “The Wonderstudies”, Episode 4, “Blocking”, Episode 5, “Homecoming”, Episode 6, “What Team?”, Episode 7, “Thanksgiving”, then get’cha head in the game for episode 8, “The Tech Rehearsal”.
The electrical fire that occurred last episode has a lasting impact on the theater at East High, ruining most of the props, costumes and stage. The cast and crew are left having to find a new theater to preform or there will be no show. Carlos suggests an old theater downtown and the students are all excited, but Miss Jenn has her reservations. This was the location where the original High School Musical movie was shown, and she realized that her part was cut from the final version of the film.
Her apprehensions of returning are overcome with the need for a new theater and the troop moves locations for their tech rehearsal. While moving all of the props over, EJ discovers Miss Jenn’s notes about the production, including the audition notes. Once alone, EJ finds his sheet and discovers that the reason he didn’t get the part of Troy was because he wasn’t emotionally connected to the show. Nini also tells Kourtney that she’s applied for the Youth Actors’ Conservatory for her senior year, and realizes what sort of life she’d be leaving behind if she uprooted from a place where she had been her whole life.
While at the new theater, the cast runs into lighting, sound and other technical issues that they have to sort out in time before opening night. Ricky and Nini head off to run a scene while the tech gets sorted, Kourtney shows off her amazing singing skills during a sound check, and EJ and Carlos block a scene for lighting that ends up in EJ giving more emotion than needed. Ricky and Nini start discovering that they still have feelings for each other during their run of the rooftop scene with Troy and Gabriella. We find that Nini’s real name is actually Nina, but because of Ricky’s trouble with vowels as a kindergartner, he called her Nini and the nickname stuck. He also confesses that Minnie Mouse was his second crush and that he couldn’t even say “I love you” back to Nini even after she posted an Instagram song to him.
Meanwhile, Miss Jenn finds that she needs a moment to herself to try to sort out the stress of tech week and her own anxieties about the theater. When exploring backstage, she gets frightened by a leftover mannequin and faints. This in turn leads to her dream sequence, where none other than Ryan Evans himself, Lucas Grabeel, makes an appearance. The two of them work things out through the musical number, “Role of a Lifetime”, and by the end of the song, Miss Jenn realizes that in order for things to improve, they need to get back to East High.
The realities of tech week in this episode will most likely bring about anxiety to any person involved in a production where tech weeks can either go smoothly or end in disaster. The change in venues and technical issues are all a part of the struggles of putting on a show, but the way that a cast can come together throughout the process is what makes the show truly shine on opening night. The surprise appearance of Lucas Grabeel is something that helps bridge the original movie and the new show together. It’s also fitting that this weeks musical number was “Bop to the Top”, which Ryan fabulously sang in the first movie. With only two episodes left, it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out for these Wildcats as opening night draws closer.
Still with us, Wildcats? Check back with us next week for Episode 9, “Opening Night”.