HSM Series’ Julia Lester, Larry Saperstein Perform Classics for Disney+ Holiday Special

We’re all in this together this holiday season because Disney+ is gifting us with a Hanukkah “High School Musical” crossover.

In honor of the festival of lights, Julia Lester— who plays Ashlyn on the musical-reboot series, “High School Musical: The Musical-The Series”— is performing Hanukkah favorites with a pop-twist.

Titled, “Hanukkah Medley,” the song is part of the Disney+ holiday show, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special.” In the music video, Lester, who is Jewish, jams out to “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,” “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah,” and “Hanukkah (Festivals of Lights).”

Lester, who grew up in Woodland Hills, spoke about her inspiration for the Hanukkah medley during the special, along with Hanukkah traditions she and her family would partake in every year.

“I could definitely sing you a hundred different Christmas songs off the top of my head,” Lester says during the special. “But, where’s the Mariah Carey version of a Hanukkah song? So, I thought [in the special] I would add a little bit of music video flare to Hanukkah.”

Larry Saperstein, who plays Big Red on the show, also shares his Hanukkah traditions and pride for Jewish roots. He also shares photos of him dressed as a menorah when he was five-years-old.

“Sometimes I did feel embarrassed that I celebrated Hanukkah and not Christmas,” he said during the special. “Now that I’m an adult I’ve taken real ownership over the fact that I am Jewish and that I do celebrate a holiday that might not be what everybody celebrates and it makes me unique and I’m so proud of that.”

While he doesn’t sing a Hanukkah song per se, he breaks out his musical theatre hat and tap shoes to perform “White Christmas,” written by Jewish legendary composer Irving Berlin.

Disney+ first introduced “HSMTMTS,” to the world last November along with the launch of the Disney streaming platform. Following in the footsteps of Disney’s 2006 musical phenomenon “High School Musical,” the series follows the students from East High, the school where the HSM films were shot and stage a musical production based on the franchise.

While fans are awaiting Season 2, which was delayed due to COVID-19, they can now enjoy seeing the cast reunite for the holidays.

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special,” is available to stream on Disney+.


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