Subscriber Account active since. After being asked by Ramin Setoodeh of Variety about the "queer aesthetic" that's present in many of his films, Ortega opened up about Lucas Grabeel's character Ryan, a musical theater-loving student whom many fans of the franchise believe to be gay. Ortega also revealed to Variety that he didn't think it was possible to have an openly gay character while making "High School Musical" in the mids. I didn't think at the time — and Disney is the most progressive group of people I've ever worked with," the director said. They would see it, they would feel it, they would know it and they would identify with it. And that is what happened. On Twitter, some users weren't at all shocked by Ortega's announcement, citing a musical number from "High School Musical 2" in which Ryan and his classmate Chad Corbin Bleu play a game of baseball that fans consider to be "sexually charged. Users also noted that Ryan and Chad inexplicably switch outfits after the number, something that's never explicitly mentioned in the rest of the film. The film was an immediate success, and led to two sequels, "High School Musical 2" and "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," which received a theatrical release.
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By Ramin Setoodeh. New York Bureau Chief. The movie was so far ahead of its time that — despite soft box office receipts — it inspired a hit Broadway musical two decades later. On a recent day, Ortega spoke to Variety in a far-ranging interview about his career.
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During the '80s, he was associated with some of the biggest hits of the decade, especially among "youth" movies of the period -- One from the Heart , St. After co-producing Salsa , he turned to directing with Newsies, the Disney organization's ill-fated attempt to revive the movie-musical genre, and Hocus Pocus Though Ortega would continue to serve as a choreographer in film and television thought the s including To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar , his career was geared increasingly towards directing for television during the millennial turnover, with frequent work in such popular series' as Chicago Hope, Grounded for Life, Ally McBeal, and The Gilmore Girls comprising the majority of his credits. After scoring a direct hit in as both choreographer and director of High School Musical the higest rated movie in Disney Channel history at the time , Ortega would step back behind the camera to tell the tale of a group of young female singers determined to make the big-time in the musical comedy Disney Channel sequel The Cheetah Girls 2.