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High School Musical a hit with little ones, too

Sun., April 27, 2008

It’s no secret that High School Musical is popular with pre-teens.

But grade school kids are getting in on the act, too.

Seven-year-old Jasmin Liwanag is a first grader at Roosevelt Elementary.

Last week after soccer practice she changed into her High School Musical pajamas, and she’s seen the movies somewhere between seven and 20 times.

Her favorite part in “High School Musical 2” is “when they were singing at the end at Spring Break and they were walking like this,” she said, demonstrating the moves from the movie.

Judging from watching High School Musical, she thinks “high school will have basketball, or football, or they give you a test and … that’s all I know,” she said.

Chloe Olson, 5, is in kindergarten at Jefferson Elementary.

Like Liwanag, her favorite character is Gabriella, who sings her favorite songs, which Olson listens to on her very own iPod.

Chloe’s mother, Misty, said she and her husband are still debating taking Chloe to the musical production when it comes to town.

“We just weren’t sure, because of her age, if we wanted to jump into the musical-type theater quite so soon. Right now we can get away with taking her to Diego and Dora and more children-centered things instead of things about boyfriends. She’s been asking questions about the little black book and that kind of stuff,” Misty Olson said. “There’s certain things that are questionable at her age with the High School Musical, like kissing and holding hands.”

Tami Bun has three kids – Ellie, 8; Alec, 5; and Katie, 2 – all of them are into HSM.

“Alec asked if he could go, but I only got tickets for his sister. And my 2-year-old knows the words to the songs,” said Tami Bun.

“My baby sister likes one of the songs so much. When she hears the CD she’s like, ‘Go to number 2,’ ” said Ellie Bun, a second grader at Spokane Junior Academy.

HSM is not only a hit with kids but also their parents.

Janeen Steer has three kids that range in age from 7 to 2. But it was mom that got High School Musical as a gift for her 38th birthday, and she’s loaned it out to a few girlfriends under the guise of it being for the kids.

“I tell them, ‘Watch it with your kids, but it’s cute,’ ” Steer said. “I like sweet, innocent, love stories.”

Even Tami Bun, who claims to be sick of hearing the songs over and over on school pickups and drop offs, admits the music is catchy.

She said: “My girlfriend and I were asking the girls if they would be embarrassed if we got up and danced. They said ‘yes.’ “


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