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‘High School Musical’ coming to Israel

With shows like “In Treatment,” Israel is finally starting to carry its weight in the U.S.-Israel pop culture relationship. And how do we return the favor? Check out this piece of news from the Forward…

A consortium of Tel Aviv-based producers, talent agents and TV distribution specialists recently announced auditions for the first-ever Hebrew version of the play, which is based on the 2006 Disney Channel movie about teen love ignited during a session of karaoke. Despite its culturally specific setting — an American high school populated by such figures as a popular jock and a competitive drama club tyrant — “High School Musical” proved an international smash hit, viewed by young people in 100 countries and becoming one of the top-selling DVDs of all time. …

The musical will be adapted, appropriately, by someone whose last name means “song” — Smadar Shir, a children’s book author and journalist also responsible for a number of youth-oriented plays. Shir, who is the writer of two weekly columns in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, has also translated into Hebrew versions of “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid,” and the stories of Mark Twain. She’ll have limited creative leeway in adapting her newest project, which, according to contractual agreements with Disney, must hew as closely as linguistically possible to the original.

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