When they were even younger, HSMTMTS stars Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett both took turns being part of their local theater productions of Beauty and the Beast, with Rodrigo playing a clothes hanger and a sheep and Bassett playing Chip when he was 10 years old.
"I'm excited to do Beauty and the Beast this year. It's one of my favorite musicals. It's actually the first musical that I was ever in, in real life as a child. I played a coat hanger and a sheep in Beauty and the Beast when I was like 3 years old. So, kind of full circle to be able to do that musical in season 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," Rodrigo exclusively tells ET. "It was adorable. And my poor mother. I dragged her on stage with me when I was younger. She was like the mom supervisor, so she washed all the little 5-year-old kids' sheep [costumes]. Yeah, it was pretty adorable -- a fun time. I saw the pictures!"
As a treat ahead of the Disney+ series' anticipated return next Friday, ET has the exclusive never-before-seen photos of baby Rodrigo and Bassett getting an early taste of the limelight and being all kinds of adorable on stage.
And Bassett was already perfecting those signature Ricky facial expressions when he played Chip in a local production of Beauty and the Beast production as a kid.
In the upcoming 12-episode sophomore season, the East High Wildcats "face off against rival school North High to win a prestigious and cutthroat student theater competition," according to Disney+'s official synopsis. "Wigs are snatched, loyalties are tested and ballads are belted." New original songs by Rodrigo and Bassett -- his holiday-themed song, "The Perfect Gift," was previewed in the December special -- will also be featured during the season.
Also starring in HSMTMTS are Sofia Wylie, Matt Cornett, Dara Reneé, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, Frankie Rodriguez, Joe Serafini, Kate Reinders and Mark St. Cyr. Derek Hough leads a cast of new faces, which include Olivia Rose Keegan, Roman Banks, Andrew Barth Feldman and Asher Angel.