Disney on Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! skates into The Tampa Bay Times Forum Thursday, through Sunday, May 15-18.
TAMPA - Feld Entertainment invites families to turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one at its new ice extravaganza, Disney on Ice presents Let’s Celebrate!, featuring more than 50 classic and contemporary Disney characters in a captivating compilation of favorite holidays and celebrations from around the world.
With a contemporary flair and eclectic mixture of creative elements, Disney on Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! is an incredible party that will inspire families to celebrate year round.
The show skates into The Tampa Bay Times Forum Thursday, through Sunday, May 15-18. Show times are 7 p.m. May 15, 16 and 17. Two additional shows are on May 17, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday’s shows are at 1 and 5 p.m.
Ticket prices include Rinkside Dining for $75, premium seats available for $45, $40, $32, $28, $25, $18 and $15. Kids tickets start at $12.
Tickets are available at DisneyonIce.com or ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Tampa Bay Times Forum ticket office (phone for information only 813-301-6500). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.
Audiences will experience the ultimate celebration of celebrations as they join Mickey Mouse and friends on a delightful tour of festivities jam-packed with fun surprises, spectacular skating and vibrant costumes.
The production’s original storyline transports audiences to exciting events with their favorite Disney characters, including a Valentine’s Day Royal Ball with Princess Tiana; a Very Merry UnBirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Jack Skellington’s frightfully festive Halloween party with the Disney Villains; and a Hawaiian luau with Lilo and Stitch.
Drawing upon their own holiday experiences for research, the production’s creative team was able to envision a show with an abundance of colors, warmth and spirit to evoke the pleasant memories of the holidays for the audience.
“At the beginning of the show we invite everyone to ‘Be Our Guest,’ and we want the audience to feel like they are participating in the show, not that they are merely watching it,” said Director Patty Vincent. “The audience gets to be a part of what we experience on the ice - they’ll feel like they went trick or treating with Mickey and spent Valentine’s Day with the Disney Princesses.”
“Let’s Celebrate! is all about experiencing the holidays through the eyes of the Disney characters. We have a variety of celebrations from all over the world,” Vincent continued. “With Mickey’s Digital Global Destinator, we are able to travel to far-off places like China for the Chinese New Year and to Brazil for Carnival.”
“The show takes on a contemporary perspective with new music, choreography, costumes and video technology that pumps incredible energy into every moment of the show,” said writer Jerry Bilik. “Mickey even causes a few mix-ups with his Digital Global Destinator, but in the end everything wraps up in one of the happiest celebrations ever!”
As Mickey and pals travel through each special time of year, scenic designer Robert Little sets the ice with iconic props that embody the essence of each celebration. An illuminated cherry blossom tree depicts the beauty of the Japanese Cherry Blossom festival, Sakura; a tree-like structure wrapped in gleaming white lights descends from the ceiling as snowfall blankets the scene of a Winter Wonderland; and an elegant canopy of shimmery fuchsia chiffon drapes the ice for a Valentine’s Day Royal Ball.
“I tried to design pieces that encompassed what comes to mind when you think of that particular celebration,” Little said. “For the Halloween scene, I visualized an eerie environment with an iron gate surrounded by giant spider webs and spooky jack-o-lanterns. The entire arena will feel the Halloween spirit regardless of what time of year it is.”
The atmosphere of each celebration is enhanced through the help of a large video projection screen that displays vivid images created by video designer Ilja Nowodworski. As Mardi Gras dancers snap their fingers to the beat, the video screen travels down a confetti-lined Bourbon Street backdrop, and when Minnie finds her true love in a Valentine’s Day dream sequence, fluffy pink clouds float across the background.
Costume designer Vanessa Leuck’s vivid assortment of costumes relies heavily on color to capture the look of each celebration. From silky kimonos made of lavender and pink florals for Japanese Sakura to citrus-colored feather headpieces for Brazil’s Carnival to iridescent whites and silvers adorned with snowflake appliqués and rhinestones for the Winter Wonderland scene, Leuck designed costumes from across the spectrum.
“I wanted each scene to be different in color, silhouette and mood, but I wanted to tie everything together in a cohesive look that was modern and fresh,” Leuck said.
From twisting and fire-twirling Hawaiian luau dancers to the zombie-like movements of the ghoulish groupies in the Halloween segment, choreographer Cindy Stuart adds high-energy and a unique style to each performance number.
“We really stepped out of the box with the choreography for this show,” Stuart said. “The production numbers revolve around the celebrations which are not necessarily part of the Disney stories we have worked with in the past. Every number is new and different from the others.”
Audiences get a taste of New Orleans, where Tiana’s story takes place, in a Mardi Gras performance that is packed with upbeat jazz-influenced choreography and music. In the Valentine’s Day segment, seven extraordinary pairs of Disney Princesses and Princes skate to contemporary remixes of classic songs from each princess story and then come together for a large number to “That’s How You Know” from Walt Disney Pictures Enchanted.
At a Very Merry UnBirthday Party, a fast-paced skating frenzy ensues as the characters toss around the Mad Hatter’s hat. Then a uniquely choreographed precision skating number follows with Sorcerer Mickey bringing 15 skaters in broom costumes to life and sweeping across the ice in a synchronized formation.
Lighting designer Alex Reardon applies UV lighting techniques to the sequence making it appear as though the skaters are actually brooms out on the ice. Ten brooms hang from the grid above the ice and six brooms dance across the video screen filling out the scene with more than 30 orchestrated brooms.
For the other celebrations, Reardon effectively adds patterns and colors to give dimension to the scene. In the Halloween number, images of cobwebs creep over the ice and during Chinese New Year, golden Chinese crests cover the ice floor.
“Every celebration has an overall mood associated with it so it made sense to light each scene in a way that expressed that mood,” Reardon said. “The fun of working on this show was that every segment was different and I was able to utilize a variety of lighting techniques.”