Utah-made ‘High School Musical’ series will return in May

Season 2 was delayed when the coronavirus shut down production for seven months.

(Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA) The cast of "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" at Disneyland — Matt Cornett, Larry Saperstein, Sofia Wylie, Joshua Bassett, Olivia Rodrigo, Julia Lester, Frankie Rodriguez, and Dara Renee.

After a long delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 2 of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” will premiere May 14 on Disney+ — 16 months after the end of Season 1.

The made-in-Utah series was originally slated to begin streaming its second season in late 2020. Work began on new episodes February 2020 — mostly at East High School in Salt Lake City — but had to shut down because of the coronavirus in mid-March. Under strict COVID-19 protocols, production resumed in October.

In Season 2, the kids from East High prepare for their spring musical, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” and set out to win “a prestigious and cutthroat student theater competition,” according to Disney. “Wigs are snatched, loyalties are tested, and ballads are belted.” East High’s main rival is North High, and standing in for that fictional school is Ogden High.

The first season cast returns — Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Sofia Wylie, Matt Cornett, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, Dara Reneé, Frankie Rodriguez, Joe Serafini, Mark St. Cyr and Kate Reinders.

Utah native Derek Hough (”Dancing with the Stars”) will appear as the “charming but sneaky” North High music teacher, who’s also the ex-boyfriend of East High music teacher Miss Jenn (Reinders).

Among the Season 2 guest stars are Asher Angel, who was a series regular in the made-in-Utah series “Andi Mack”; Andrew Barth Feldman and Roman Banks, who both starred in the title role in “Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway; and Olivia Rose Keegan (”Days of Our Lives”).