Did ‘High School Musical’ Star Corbin Bleu Quit Acting?

It’s been awhile since Corbin Bleu was a part of the mainstream, but he’s creeping back thanks to Disney+. Not only has the service featured the movie that made Bleu famous, it has a new version of High School Musical as well.

So now the question: whatever happened to Corbin Bleu? He didn’t quit acting, he just moved it to a different venue — the stage.

How did Corbin Bleu start acting?

Corbin Bleu smiling in front of a repeating backdrop
Corbin Bleu | Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

The Brooklyn native started dancing as a child, with an emphasis on ballet and jazz. He was only 6 when he made his professional theater debut, in an off-Broadway play called Tiny Tim is Dead. He moved from New York to Los Angeles with his family in 1996, and that’s when life got particularly interesting. He landed small roles in movies like Galaxy Quest and Mystery Men, and then to a more sizable part in the movie Catch That Kid, co-starring a then relatively unknown Kristen Stewart. 

Then he auditioned for a TV movie Disney Channel was making called High School Musical. At first glance, it looked like it might be one of those dime-a-dozen song-and-dance fests that would burn hot for a minute and quickly fade. That first glance would have been wrong. High School Musical became a sensation in 2006, catapulting Bleu to fame along with Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale. Bleu played Chad Danforth, who was more interested in athletics than the performing arts, at least at first. 

The Disney Channel followed that up with High School Musical 2 the next year, with High School Musical 3 playing theatrically in 2008, and setting a record for largest opening weekend for a musical film. After that, the phenomenon cooled down, but that was hardly the end for Bleu.

What did Corbin Bleu do after High School Musical?

So where does a talented actor go when his movie/TV series runs it course? To the theater, of course, and his Broadway debut in 2010 was quite auspicious. It was In the Heights, the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical that paved the way for the groundbreaking success of Hamilton. Bleu played Usnavi.

“I feel like In the Heights was the perfect show for my Broadway debut,” Bleu told Playbill. “When it was first announced I would be playing the role, there was a lot of opposition. First, they wondered why this Disney kid was playing a lead role in a Broadway production. Second, why I was playing a Dominican character, when I myself am Jamaican and Italian so I don’t have any Latino descent. But it ended up being received really well, and it was a very proud moment for me.” 

After In the Heights, Bleu went on to appear in such well-known shows as Godspell, Holiday Inn, and Singin’ in the Rain. Most recently, he starred in the Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate

Corbin Bleu is having a moment again 

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While Bleu continues to do well on stage, his former life is coming back to him in a good way. Disney+ carries all of the High School Musical movies, and the new series for the new streamer, High School Musical: The Musical The Series.

Meanwhile, Bleu continues to perform in movies and TV shows, although the stage is his first priority. With that in mind, he’s OK with High School Musical still following him around. “It cracks me up sometimes, but I can’t complain,” he says. “It’s definitely a namesake and something that has led me to where I am today.”