‘Encore!’ is a reality tv series that had originally premiered as a one-hour special on ABC in December 2017. It follows the stars of a 1997 production of ‘Into the Woods’, where the members of a former high school musical band get together for a performance of a lifetime.
The special received widespread acclaim, after which it was adopted into a full-fledged show to air on Disney Plus. It is yet another addition to the channel’s non-fictional slate that also includes ‘High School Musical: The Musical’. Created by Jason Cohen and executive produced by Cohen alongside Kristen Bell, Alycia Rossiter, Will Gluck, Richard Schwartz, Jim Roush, and Chris Wagner, ‘Encore!’ revolves around a team of ex-castmates of a high school musical, who re-create their original performance in a never-seen-before high school reunion of a lifetime.
But as these individuals come together after many years, the emotions are high. Old flames are ignited and faded friendships resurface. Accompanying the stars is a mix of self-doubt, spectacular visuals, and killer choreography. As these former friends from school band together, seek guidance from Broadway experts, and deliver an awe-inspiring performance, they relive fond memories that serve as a reminiscence of golden, fan-favorite musicals like ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and ‘Annie’, among others.
Kristen Bell expressed her excitement to be part of the show, saying, “I know from personal experience [musical theatre] was the only place where the math nerd and the jock and the outcast all got up onstage and sang together. High school musical theatre is some of the fondest memories I have and the idea of reliving them—not just to go back to what felt like glory days but also, because high school is an incredibly turbulent time for a lot of us, there are things I’d like to say to people I went to high school with. There are amends I’d like to make. And I think that this show really allows our cast to do that.”
Encore! Cast: Who’s in it?
‘Encore!’ is presented by Kristen Bell, the American actress who came to the limelight after her roles in ‘Spartan’ and ‘Gracie’s Choice’. After starring in ‘Veronica Mars‘, Bell appeared in ‘Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical’ and ‘Heroes’ and served as the narrator for ‘Gossip Girl’. She then landed another major role in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, followed by noteworthy performances in ‘Couples Retreat’, ‘When in Rome’, ‘You Again’, ‘Frozen‘, and ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’. Her notable tv roles include ‘House of Lies’ and ‘The Good Place’.
Encore! Plot: What is it about?
‘Encore!’ casts people who had performed in musicals from the 1970s to the 2000s. Interested participants get the chance to relive their fond memories by reuniting with old castmates to perform their high school musical one more time. The crew then films the performance within a span of one week after traveling to the hometown of the specific band.
The format followed by the show is pretty simple. Each week, we meet a high school theater group, which reunites and secures a second chance to perform in a musical they had previously done together. The only issue is, they are decades apart from their last day in high school.
‘Encore!’ premieres in Santee, CA, where the featured high school performed ‘Annie’, way back in 1996. Now, after almost 20 years, the members of the band have almost forgotten their roles and it’s after years that they are seeing one another. Which is more difficult? Getting ready for the stage or healing old wounds? Another episode takes us to Saginaw, TX, where a school had performed ‘Beauty and the Beast‘ in 2007. The team got a surprise visit from Susan Egan, the original Belle who had performed in Broadway.
Across the episodes, we see how the cast mates reminisce about old times and get to know each other through a new POV. They reconnect, they talk, and bring up issues that were difficult to discuss back then, such as bullying, religion, and sexuality. Additionally, the featured bands are not professionals. But they need to train under talented choreographers, directors, and musicians. So it is fun to watch how the pros react to the performances of the newcomers who are usually amateurs. However, the show does not make fun of them. It, in fact, acknowledges the guts of these people to come out of their comfort zone in order to relive a moment in time.
Now, if you are a die-hard fan of theater, you shall definitely enjoy ‘Encore!’. And even if you are not, you will love the show for its human elements and the manner in which reunions heal old wounds.
Encore! Episode 3 Release Date: When will it premiere?
‘Encore!’ season 1 premiered on Disney+ on November 12, 2019. After its debut, the show follows a weekly schedule. ‘Encore!’ episode 3 will premiere on November 22, 2019.
You can watch the official trailer for season 1 of ‘Encore!’ below:
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