Friday, August 25, 2006

Another Opening, Another Show

The shows on the Disney Wonder were what we looked forward to the most (other than the food). It was also a pleasurable experience to get dressed up to go to the shows and then to dinner every night.

The first night was Hercules the Muse-ical, a hilarious musical comedy. In this show within a show, the Parthenon Players were putting on Hercules. All the catchy songs from the movie were kept in the musical. Meg had a voice similar to Susan Egan's from the movie, but the other actors, while entertaining, did not have great singing voices. The actor who played young Hercules had a noticeable lisp and had a lead role in all three shows. One of the Muses was played by a man and he had one of the best voices in the show, but he did not get to show it off very often as he mostly had unfunny comic routines in Hercules and smaller roles in the other two shows. Hades and Pain and Panic were annoying at times but they made up for it with some of the best jokes, mostly pop culture references. Overall, this show was strong on comedy and although the singers were not perfect, the music was enough to make up for it.

The second show was The Golden Mickeys, about an award show honoring Disney characters. When entering the theatre, the audience walked down a red carpet and was greeted by paparazzi. Many of the same actors from Hercules were used in this show, which combined live actors with videos of Roy Disney speaking about his uncle Walt, Tim Allen, and Angela Lansbury. There was a good mix of music as many Disney movies were represented in the different categories. The best numbers were "Two Worlds One Family" from Tarzan which included acrobatics, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King which had the best singers, and "Be a Man" from Mulan which had decent singing and dancing. The dancing in this show as a whole was better than the singing and I noticed in general that most of the actors on the ship seemed to have more training in dance than voice.

Disney Dreams was described as an award winning show because it won an award for best show on any cruise line. It is obvious why. The show had the most elaborate sets and special effects out of the three and while not on the same scale as Broadway, for a cruise show it was definitely an anomaly. The show opened with an overture, which was a little unusual considering there was no orchestra, but it did add to the Broadway feel. A little girl wishes upon a star to be able to fly and Peter Pan comes to help her. She has until 6 a.m. to learn how to fly to the place where dreams come true. Peter Pan was played by the same actor who played young Hercules, but he was perfect for this role of a mischievous little boy which did not require him to do much singing. The actress who played the little girl was also charming in her role. Her journey led her through different stories including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Cinderella. Although the actors did not magically learn to sing over the three nights, the elaborate numbers were enjoyable enough regardless.

The actors from the shows did double duty as dancers at the theme nights at the nightclub, dressing up from the '8os and '70s. The '80s night was a combination of shows and participation from the audience, but there was very little audience to participate. To their credit, the dancers never gave up trying to get the audience to participate. The '70s night was less of a show and more of a regular dance at a nightclub, but again, there were not enough people to fill up the dance floor.

Other entertainment options included first run movies because as the program director said, Disney owns all the movies. I didn't watch any of them because I can watch movies anywhere and I had already seen Pirates 2 and Cars, and had no interest in seeing Step Up although it did come out in the theatres that same week.

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