Islip native Larry Saperstein, a breakout star of the Disney Plus mockumentary show "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," has come out as bisexual.
On his TikTok account, the red-haired actor-dancer posted a close-up video of his face beneath graphical text reading, "[P]lays a character with a girlfriend on TV," and then continuing, "is bi irl [in real life]." The accompanying music was the title song of "International Super Spy," the Sept. 17, 2007, episode of the CGI-animated children's series "The Backyardigans" (Nickelodeon, 2004-13).
Saperstein, 23, captioned the video, "[I]s it really that unexpected tho #pride." On the masthead of his verified Twitter account as of at least Monday, he specifies that he uses the pronouns "he/him."
Saperstein also wrote on Twitter that he has "T minus 30 days to figure out how to do drag so I can turn out a look before the end of the month." He added a gay pride flag emoji at the end of his tweet.
Currently in its second season, "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" initially chronicled a Utah high school drama club's adaptation of the Disney Channel TV-movie "High School Musical" (2006). Season 2, which premiered May 14, follows that same school's production of the Disney animated feature and Broadway musical "Beauty and the Beast." Saperstein plays Big Red, whose family owns a local pizza shop, Salt Lake Slices. Emerging late in season 1 as a dance prodigy, Big Red is a backup stage manger who is best friends with the new stage show's lead (Joshua Bassett), and he has a romance with schoolmate Ashlyn (Julia Lester).
"[I]t's their first relationship so there's a lot more to be explored," Saperstein told Newsday last month. Reflecting a theme of the series, that relationship is "about personal growth," he said. "This relationship teaches both Big Red and Ashlyn things about themselves, about their future, about what they want to be doing in life."
The son of Elissa Reichstein-Saperstein, a sixth-grade orchestra teacher with the Half Hollow Hills Central School District, in Dix Hills, and Scott Saperstein, a local stage actor, Larry Saperstein says on his website that he fell in love with theater at age 3, when he appeared with his father in a production of the musical "Working."
Going on to attend the Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts in Wheatley Heights for nine consecutive years, he says, he had his first professional role playing Charlie Bates in the musical "Oliver!" at Northport's John W. Engeman Theater.
Saperstein graduated from Islip High School in 2016 and from Pace University, where he majored in design and production for the stage and screen, in 2020.