Mickey and friends bring ‘new look’ show to town
Feld Entertainment has some surprises in store for audiences with its newest “Disney on Ice” production, “Mickey’s Search Party.”
Besides the touring ice show’s usual lineup of favorite characters and snappy sing-along songs from Disney’s animated movies, there’s an added “wow factor” this time around.
“We’re really excited about this year’s ‘Disney on Ice’ because it is going to be the most innovative, the most immersive and most interactive production of ‘Disney on Ice’ that we’ve ever produced,” said Nicole Feld, executive vice president and producer.
Closer to the action
The Feld production team has made a concerted effort to bring the audience closer to the action through more interaction with the characters and to enhance the show’s visual quality with video projections and high-flying acrobatics.
“Mickey’s Search Party” comes to PPG Paints Arena for eight performances Feb. 28 to March 3.
After Mickey and Minnie Mouse welcome guests as they always do, the audience is drawn into the show’s storyline and help search for clues when Tinker Bell turns up missing after Captain Hook tries to capture the fairy’s magic.
Costumed skaters portraying the stars of “Aladdin,” “Toy Story,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Moana” and more perform in multi-level production numbers. In one scene from “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle is featured twirling overhead on a rotating carousel of aerial silks, depicting the enchanted chandelier in “Be Our Guest.”
Ice show veterans
Two of the performers in “Mickey’s Search Party” are husband and wife pair skaters Brendyn and Jessica Hatfield, who will be skating the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine. They have spent the past 10 years on the road with ice shows and are performing in their fourth Disney production.
Brendyn, from Seattle, Wash., and Jessica, from Morris Plains, N.J., met in Holland when they were appearing in different skating shows and started training as a pairs team.
Even their performance to the popular romantic ballad, “A Whole New World,” from “Aladdin” is part of the “new look” being spotlighted with this Disney on Ice production.
“We made it more of a modern, upbeat dance number,” Brendyn said.
Jessica said the added attractions in “Mickey’s Search Party” are being well received by those who have seen performances of the show.
“A lot of different aspects of the show, especially the projections all over the ice and set, are really effective,” she said. “It’s like a blank canvas that is constantly changing. The response we get from the audience is that they really appreciate them.”
A new addition to the show’s repertoire features the debut of characters and music from Disney-Pixar’s “Coco,” (2017) which won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The character Miguel transforms from boy to skeleton for performances of “Remember Me” and “Un Poco Loco.”
And of course, Disney wouldn’t miss an opportunity to have hundreds of kids – and their parents and grandparents – singing along as Elsa skates to “Let It Go” from the megahit movie, “Frozen,” which takes place toward the end of the show.
“So many of these beloved Disney stories continue to resonate with children today, and that experience is special and more relevant than ever,” Nicole Feld said.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.