Monday, December 27, 2010
Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin' Road Show
DISNEY LIVE! MICKEY’S ROCKIN’ ROAD SHOW TAKES AUDIENCES ON HILARIOUS, HIGH-ENERGY ADVENTURE WITH FAVORITE DISNEY CHARACTERS
Brand-New, Live Stage Production Produced by Feld Entertainment
Stars Mickey Mouse and Friends in Original Storyline with Contemporary Twist
Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show, Feld Entertainment’s newest stage production, whisks audiences on a wacky, fun-filled journey with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they embark on a talent search adventure filled with unexpected, exciting encounters and favorite Disney friends. As this original storyline unfolds, families will sing, dance and laugh along with the ever-lovable Tigger; Cinderella and her conniving stepsisters; and for the first time in Disney Live! history, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and friends from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story.
“In Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show, fun knows no boundaries,” says Producer Kenneth Feld. “Audiences will feel like they’re seeing a cartoon come to life as they experience the humor, hijinks, twists and turns of Mickey’s road trip and talent show. The only rules are ‘cartoon rules,’ and anything goes.”
“Families will feel like they are traveling alongside Mickey and Minnie as they set off on an exciting theatrical excursion, right in their hometown,” Producer Alana Feld comments. “Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show is a combination of hilarious escapades, hip music and modern choreography that fuse together to present the Disney characters like you’ve never seen them before.”
As a special bonus, fifteen minutes before every performance, families are treated to the Playhouse Disney Pre-Show Party. This interactive experience features a live host as she gets the audience revved up for the show with fun video highlights from Playhouse Disney favorites “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Handy Manny,” “Imagination Movers,” “Special Agent Oso” and “Jungle Junction.” The Pre-Show party is free to all ticket holders.
The excitement begins when Mickey and his pals decide to put on a talent show, with Mickey as the director, Minnie as the costume designer, Goofy as the clumsy stagehand and Donald in charge of the big “Ka-Pow”! Realizing that they need more performers, they embark on a road trip in Mickey’s fantastical bus, where they face a series of misadventures and eventually round up a few friends to help put on their show.
“What sets this show apart is how we unite characters that normally exist in separate worlds and incorporate the kind of music that kids listen to everyday to create a fresh, original story,” says Director Jay Smith. “We want families to feel like they’ve played as much a part in the show as those on stage, so whether they join Cinderella as she sings ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,’ bounce along with Tigger to ‘The Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce’ or rock and roll to songs by the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana, there is really something for everyone.”
The show is based on the concept of a live cartoon, and writer Bradley Zweig sets the stage for fun when Mickey surprises his pals with the vehicle for their adventure: an amazing bus equipped with unusual gadgets. When the characters need to get over a mountain during their talent search, the push of a button inflates a hot air balloon from the roof. When the bus rolls into the ocean, the flip of a switch transforms it into a submarine. “These are things that only happen in cartoons, but we’re doing them live on stage. You don’t explain them; they just happen,” says Zweig. “In a cartoon, nothing is impossible. The silliest, craziest, funniest things can happen for no reason whatsoever, and in Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show, they do.”
The Mickey Mouse Bus was developed by the Feld Entertainment props team led by the show’s scenic designer and Feld Entertainment Vice President of Scenic Elements Rick Papineau. Special effects like the hot air balloon, periscope and propeller advance the storyline as the characters move from location to location.
To transport audiences on their virtual journey, the bus functions in conjunction with original video content displayed on a giant projection screen. Created by Feld Entertainment Video Designer Ilja Nowodworski, the animated video establishes multiple scenic environments and captures the essence of each character’s world. When Mickey and his friends are traveling to their next destination, the digital video images move to create the illusion that the bus is traveling and the characters are able to zoom up and down hills and around curves, drive underwater and float through the clouds.
To enhance the experience, Papineau incorporated multiple scenic projection panels that flank the screen to create an extension of the backdrop. “The panels are made directly from video screen shots, so it looks like the images run out of the screen,” says Papineau. Because the panels can configure many different scenic combinations, audiences are able to enjoy a truly visual experience as the scenic backdrop takes them through country hillsides, a cactus-filled desert, a royal village and other picturesque locales.
Costume Designer Scott Lane’s youthful and colorful designs enhance the playful, contemporary feel of Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show. “I wanted to incorporate bright, fun ‘kid’ colors so the show is like a coloring book and yet keep the silhouettes of today,” says Lane. To create costumes that reflect current youth fashion trends, Lane used clothing catalogs and magazines as inspiration and then added his own touch by infusing vibrant primary colors and mixing patterns. He also looked to current pop star fashion for the costume designs of the host and male ensemble, incorporating vests, ties, untucked shirts and pinstripe pants to create a casual and preppy look, reflective of current trends.
For the Disney characters, Lane maintained traditional silhouettes, but added a modern flair. Cinderella first appears in her classic ball gown crafted from 45-year-old vintage fabric, but with the help of the Fairy Godmother, it magically transforms into a sequined, beaded, light blue dress with accents of pink flowers. One of Lane’s challenges was designing an outfit for Mickey Mouse that is timeless, yet current, and reflects his active, youthful personality. To convey both vibes, Lane dressed Mickey in red plaid shorts, a multi-colored striped shirt and tie, a blue vest and sneakers during the road trip, and then switched to a classic showbiz look: a bold three-piece suit with red, white, yellow and black polka dots and stripes.
Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show features a unique blend of music that incorporates both timeless and remixed Disney songs, along with hip tunes that pave the way for choreographer Robbie Mackey’s distinctive dance numbers. From Cinderella’s comical tap-dancing stepsisters and a Broadway-style kick line to a knee-slapping hoedown and Tigger’s hip-hop-inspired bounce routine, Mackey combines a range of dance styles to create an energetic and fresh look that conveys a classic yet contemporary feel.
Host Chris Chatman provides the link between the audience and the characters throughout the show. The 23-year-old Chatman, one of the final 54 contestants in “American Idol” Season 8, guides families along the road trip and energizes them with his charisma, impressive vocals and dance moves.
Mackey collaborated with Music Director Stan Beard to choose pieces of music that support the action on stage and deliver the right tempo for the choreography. “The music is the energy behind everything,” Beard comments. “We wanted to show a different side of traditional characters so we used the song selection to add a little edge, which opened up endless possibilities for fresh takes on well-known Disney friends.”
For Tigger’s talent show number, Mackey choreographed an athletic, upbeat routine set to “Bounce, Bounce,” a re-mixed version of R&B artist J.Moss’ “Jump, Jump.” The scene showcases Tigger flanked by four backup dancers in an exciting, fast-paced music video-style routine. “It’s a current, very hip section of the show, and everyone in the audience bounces as much as the dancers on stage,” says Mackey.
Lighting Designer Sam Doty sets the mood of the show by creating colorful and vibrant lighting designs that transform the stage and complement the music as they transport audiences to each destination. “The music’s really fun and upbeat, and I wanted to match that,” says Doty. “Everything’s based on the music and the action of the show.” Tigger performs his hip-hop routine while subtle tiger stripe gobos embellish the proscenium and the stage floor. The stepsisters’ clumsy antics are supplemented by sharp, crazy lighting cues, while Cinderella’s elegant solo is matched by beautiful, soft pink, blue and purple lights. For scenes where the Mickey Mouse Bus is traveling, Doty mimics the motion on the screen so that the lights move with the road, like shadows going by.
Throughout the process, Doty was conscious of the practicality of lighting a children’s show. “It’s very important for kids to see the faces of the characters they love, while creating the environment of the scene and keeping the lighting fun and exciting,” he says.
Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show invites audiences to experience a high-energy adventure jam-packed with hip music, eye-catching choreography and one-of-a-kind scenery that combine to create an unforgettable journey full of laughs and surprises with favorite Disney friends.
About Feld Entertainment
Feld Entertainment is the world’s leading producer and presenter of live family entertainment. A privately owned and operated family company, Feld Entertainment is the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice, and Disney Live! With more than 5,000 performances annually and tours in over 65 countries on six continents, the company’s shows are seen by more than 30 million people each year.
For more information about Disney Live!, members of the media should visit www.feldentertainment.com.