In the recently staged Disney Princess: The Concert, the kids believed in the power of magic, and the kids-at-heart were transported back to simpler times.
Thanks to the everlasting and transcending magic of Disney, spectacular performances for Disney fans of all ages filled the night with wonder and nostalgia.
The show was staged at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater in Circuit Makati last November 18 and 19. More shows are slated at the SMX Convention Center in Davao on November 21 and at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City on November 22 presented by Wilbros Live.
The ensemble includes Broadway stars Anneliese van der Pol, Aisha Jackson, Krysta Rodriguez, Steffanie Leigh, and Adam J. Levy, and Benjamin Rauhala as the music supervisor, co-creator and on-stage host.
Donning their sparkly bright-colored gowns, the women of Disney Princess: The Concert, who did not portray any princesses or queens created by Disney, opened the show with “Starting Now.”
Steffanie Leigh, who debuted on Broadway as Disney’s Mary Poppins, sang the 2010 animated feature film Tangled’s “When Will My Life Begin?”
Broadway veteran Krysta Rodriguez who recently starred as Cinderella in Into the Woods, sang Asian princess Mulan’s heartfelt song “Reflection.”
Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven’s Anneliese van der Pol who was also the final actress to portray Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, performed Brave’s “Touch the Sky.”
Aisha Jackson, the historic first Black woman who portrayed Frozen’s Anna on Broadway, sang “For the First Time” from The Little Mermaid live-action movie which also starred a Black woman, Halle Bailey, as Ariel.
Also a song from The Little Mermaid, van der Pol belted out “Part of Your World,” which she finished singing with Leigh, Rodriguez, and Jackson.
As a tribute to the OG Disney princesses, the women performed a medley of classic songs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.
After the 20-minute break, the stars of the show donned their golden gowns and performed together “That’s How You Know” from Enchanted.
Aisha Jackson sang “For the First Time in Forever” and a duet with Adam J. Levy in “Love is an Open Door.”
Jackson also imparted lessons for the audiences on how important representation is, recounting that time when a Black little girl pointed at her on stage while she played the role of Anna and said, “She looks just like me!”
Another classic from Anastacia, Rodriguez sang in a duet with Levy in “Journey to the Past,” while Jackson followed and performed “Almost There” from Princess and the Frog.
Towards the end of the show, a Mary Poppins medley was sung by Leigh, while van der Pol honored the parents who made time for their kid/s by bringing them to watch the show by singing “Mother Knows Best” from Tangled.
The perfect song that wrapped the show was their splendid rendition of the famous “Let It Go” from Frozen as the confetti blasted resembling the snow from the movie.
The concert is definitely a must-see for Disney fans as the songs that shaped our lives growing up brought back the feeling of not having to worry and just enjoying the good childhood days. The fact that these songs are performed by Broadway stars made it even more special as the crowd sang along.
Kids, teenagers, and even adults were encouraged to dress up and they delivered that night by donning their gowns and suits adorned with tiaras and jewelry like real princes and princesses do.
The concert also injected valuable lessons that princesses and queens imparted in the movies for children to learn. They are seamlessly delivered by the stars of the show before or after a musical number.
Indeed, the concert transcended generations that night; children believed in the power of magic while the adults relived the nostalgia from the princesses and queen imagined and brought to life by Disney.
Image credits: Reine Juvierre S. Alberto