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Released on Jan. 10, the soundtrack to High School Musical, an original Disney Channel movie, hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 on March 11. It’s still there, taking all comers. This makes it, in one view, the most successful movie musical since Chicago.

Now I love musicals, I love movie musicals, but I haven’t seen a Disney Channel musical since I fell asleep to a late-night airing of Newsies so many moons ago. (And that forgotten curio at least had a theatrical release — not that that excuses my obsession with singing newsboys.) I also haven’t had the Disney Channel in… ever (though I do own some bootlegged Mousercise DVDs — discreet inquiries only, please).

So I ask for you help, friends: High School Musical fans, please write in and explain the peculiar charms of this unlikely sales behemoth. I mean, hey kids (kidz?), I’m “down.” I was in a lot of high school musicals. I took a lot of gut punches for humming “Luck Be a Lady” in the locker room. If there’s something I’m missing, some shared theater-dork consciousness I’m not privy to, please, for the love of Richard Rodgers, tell me!

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