Mickey Mouse and his crew — along with some special friends — are on the road, sharing some of their favorite stories with fans in Disney Live’s “Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic.” Mickey and his best buddies are joined by Snow White, Cinderella, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear, and other pals, for a spirited adventure at Nassau Coliseum this weekend, April 7-8.
In true Disney style, “wishing is only the beginning” — as the Disney folks like to say. Scenes from “Tangled,” “Aladdin,” “Cinderella,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” and “Toy Story” come alive in a production that fuses together the stories and theatrical illusions.
“This show is about bringing to life the magical places and moments that exists with the world of Disney in a very authentic and modern way,” says Producer Alana Feld. “By using magic and illusions, we’ve reimagined iconic scenes and enhanced them, creating a great connection to the characters and stories for our audiences.”
The adventure begins when Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy — Disney’s version of the Fab Four — burst into view in a high-energy opening, which features an original song “The Magic is Here.”
The lively choreography, along with the pop and funk infused soundtrack, is essential in capturing the vitality of the show and differentiating it from a traditional re-telling of classic tales, according to Director-Choreographer Fred Tallaksen. “What makes this show extraordinary are the adventures Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy have every time they enter a different whimsical doorway and the amazing things they do in each world they visit,” says Tallaksen. “One moment Mickey and Minnie are jumping rope alongside the Toy Story gang in Andy’s room and the next they have traveled to Agrabah to unleash the power and comedic antics of Aladdin’s Genie.”
This being a Disney show, the families in attendance are ready to jump right in — encouraged by the cast every step of the way.
“It’s an amazing show that’s filled with magical illusions that you can’t figure out,” says Kennedy Koenig, aka Snow White. “It has an appeal for all ages. “Everyone —grandparents, parents and kids — are enjoying it. We interact with our audience throughout, so the show is really driven by them.”
“It’s so exciting to see how the audience gets involved with the performers. In one of my scenes, Snow White asks the audience if she should take a bite of the poison apple and that gets a huge response. Everyone in the audience is definitely involved from start to finish. And it becomes a different show each time we do it, because we get a different reaction each time.”
Over the 90 minutes of non-stop action, audiences share in the telling of iconic moments from these timeless stories. Memorable scenes, including Cinderella’s gown transformation and Mickey’s command over a lively set of brooms, are integrated with audience interaction with the many characters using magic words given by Tinker Bell.
For the 22-year-old Koenig, a Green Bay, Wis. native, who is appearing in her first Disney production, it’s certainly been a “happily ever after” experience.
“I love interacting with the audience who know and love these characters as I do,” she says.
“I grew up with Disney. It’s really been a magical experience and sort of crazy to think that I’ve now become one of the characters that I loved to watch.”
Koenig is drawn to Snow White’s personality. “I love her way of seeing other people,” she says. “She gives everyone a chance. She’s so young at heart but timeless and that really draws me in. She looks at everything with complete innocence and that’s so special to me.”
For Koenig, who has been dancing and performing since she was a young girl, this is a “dream job.” “I’m passionate about singing and dancing and that’s what makes this show so much fun.”Audiences respond enthusiastically to every character the moment they step on stage. Among the highlights, says Koenig, the Toy Story sequence, with Buzz Lightyear always gets everyone excited. “The stage goes black — with green lasers and crazy neon lights. “It’s very exciting and the audience goes crazy. There are moments that catch everyone by surprise. Everyone loves Buzz.”
That enthusiasm carries over to the final moments. “We have a great finale,” Koenig says. “Everyone comes back on stage together and everything comes full circle. No one is left wanting more.”
Illusions designed by Magic Consultant Jim Steinmeyer elevate the production to new heights. His visuals set the scene for the spectacular stage debut of Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder as they levitate in a starry sky amidst floating lanterns.
“When the Disney characters present the illusions rather than a magician, something special happens,” says Steinmeyer.
Happily ever lives on — for a while at least.
‘Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic’
When: Saturday April 7, 2 and 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 8, 10:30 a.m., 2 and 5:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25.
Where: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale. (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.