When High School Musical: The Musical debuted on Disney+ longtime fans of the franchise may have been hoping for a romp down memory lane. While the new series featuring an entirely new generation of actors (plus the occasional old-school HSM cameo) is fun, OG fans may have been left feeling nostalgic. It’s easy to figure out what stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are up to now, but before you find yourself falling down a rabbit hole wondering what happened to Chad, allow us to help. Turns out Corbin Bleu has been very, very busy after trading in high school musicals for Broadway ones.
Bleu made his Broadway debut in 2010, playing Usnavi in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights. “I feel like In the Heights was the perfect show for my Broadway debut,” Bleu told Playbill, noting that despite some armchair critics complaining about a “Disney kid” taking on such a big role, it ended up being well received. “It was a very proud moment for me,” he said.
After finding success with In the Heights, he was back on the stage in 2012, this time playing Jesus in Godspell. From there Bleu was off and running: in 2016, he played Ted Hanover in the old-school Holiday Inn, the New Irving Berlin Musical at Studio 54. He then stepped into the role of Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain in a 2018 production in St. Louis, and then took on the task of playing Billy Crocker in Anything Goes at Arena Stage in D.C. In 2019, he returned to New York to star in the Shakespeare-inspired Kiss Me, Kate. “I have just really loved performing in these classic, Golden Age musicals,” Bleu told Playbill in November 2018. “These just felt like a great fit to me and apparently, others have seen that too, and I have continued to get asked to do these types of projects.”
Bleu doesn’t limit himself to musicals. In addition to taking Broadway by storm, he was also the runner-up on season 17 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and has released two albums. He also had a big role in the soap opera One Life to Live, and guest-starred on episodes of Castle, The Good Wife, The Fosters, and Chicago Med. In addition to all of that, he also managed to find time to work on three movies in 2019, including the horror film Witches in the Woods, Ovid and the Art of Love and the Netflix movie Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
While Bleu has a diverse resume and tons of roles to his name, there is no escaping his High School Musical past, as fans still always seem to want to remind him that they loved him best as Chad. “It cracks me up sometimes, but I can’t complain,” he told Playbill. “It’s definitely a namesake and something that has led me to where I am today.”