Hannah Montana And Her 'Sisters'

(Courtesy Of Michelle Bruton)
By Annie Gowen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 22, 2007

The frenzy has gone on for three weeks now.

The I-can't-believe-she's-coming squeals, the stampede for tickets, the it's-sold-out panic. And, of course, the scalping investigations, launched in three states, and the Ticketmaster lawsuit.

Washington parents are still feeling the sting of shelling out their hard-earned money for eBay tickets to the Hannah Montana show Jan. 7 at Verizon Center, $250 to $300 a pop. That's if they were lucky: One broker priced floor seats at $1,595 each. Elsewhere in the country where the "Best of Both Worlds Tour" is headed, seats were reselling for as much as $3,000. The national average hit $240, reportedly more than for Springsteen or Beyonc¿.

This is big. Beatles big, her promoter bragged. (Wisely, he took a lesson from John Lennon and did not use the phrase "more popular than Jesus.")

There's nothing left to do but watch the "Hannah Montana" TV show, listen to the Hannah Montana CDs, mimic the Hannah Montana dances, try on the Hannah Montana clothes and wait for Jan. 7.

And, for the adults caught in the maelstrom, ponder the question: What the . . . ? How did a 14-year-old slip of a girl get to be mentioned in the same breath as the Beatles? A little more than a year ago, no one had heard of Hannah Montana, the Disney Channel character played by Miley Cyrus.

"I'm just shocked about this whole thing," said Margaret Brown, 45, a public relations consultant from Leesburg. "I was stunned. She's a cute girl, but, my goodness. One of her tickets went for $2,000. I wouldn't even pay that for the Rolling Stones."

Luckily, Brown's daughter Molly Marshall-Brown and two friends would allow an interruption as they sat one day after school at Brown's home, squeezed into the same overstuffed club chair with a bowl of popcorn, and did what they do nearly every day -- watch "Hannah Montana" reruns on cable on demand. In this segment, the ordinary teenage schoolgirl Miley Stewart, with the secret life of a pop star named Hannah Montana, realizes she shouldn't keep her secret from her best friend. It's one of their favorite episodes.

Tell us, panel of experts, what's up with this Hannah Montana thing?

"She has a normal life just like we do," said Rachel Huet, 8, of Leesburg.

"We go to school just like her," said Molly, 9.

"And we have weird brothers," said Katherine Stuntz, 8.

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