Mickey’s talent quest

The Walt Disney magic is well and truly present in Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Roadshow, school holiday entertainment that drives into Newcastle next month.

The show has Mickey Mouse deciding to put on a talent show, but he realises he needs to find a few performers.

So he heads off with Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy on a cross-country journey looking for talents who will wow audiences.

The bus that the team use is an incredible creation by a design team from Feld Entertainment, the company that stages Disney Live and Disney on Ice shows.

When Mickey and friends reach an unclimbable mountain range, the push of a button inflates a hot air balloon on the bus roof and the vehicle flies over the barrier.

And when the bus rolls into the ocean, the flip of a switch transforms it into a submarine, complete with periscope and propeller.

Amazing widescreen projections and lighting help to make the sequences look like a cartoon that has come to life.

Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Roadshow plays at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on January 15 and 16.

The characters Mickey and friends meet include Cinderella and her stepsisters, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and friends from Toy Story, and Winnie the Pooh’s Tigger.

Cast member Melanie Cadwell, who has been touring with the show for more than two years, said audiences were amazed by the remarkable talents of the performers.

“There are incredible rope tricks and eye-popping use of hula hoops,” she said.

“The actor playing Tigger is a fantastic bouncer, doing things most people wouldn’t be able to imagine a person doing.

“And there’s one scene where Tigger has audience members bouncing with him in a moshpit.”

Like other Disney Live shows, this one has been put together with the aim of making audience members of all ages feel part of the performance, whether it is rocking in their seats in time to musical numbers that have been given hip orchestrations or getting involved in the show, as happens in a curtain-raising number at the beginning of the second half.

The songs include Cinderella’s performance of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, Tigger relishing The Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce,  R and B artist J. Moss’s Jump, Jump remixed as Bounce, Bounce, and rock’n’rolling songs by the Jones Brothers and Hannah Montana.

Among the talent quest performances are Woody and friends engaged in a lively hoedown and Cinderella’s stepsisters doing a comically awkward tap dance. There’s also a Broadway-style kick line.

If some of the songs have a more current beat, so do many of the costumes.

Cinderella first appears in her classic ball gown but, with the help of the Fairy Godmother, it magically transforms into a sequined, beaded light-blue dress with accents of pink flowers.

Even Mickey gets to show an active, youthful personality, wearing red plaid shorts, a multi-coloured striped shirt and tie and a blue vest and sneakers during the road trip, although wearing a more traditional three-piece suit when it comes to business matters.   

Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Roadshow can be seen at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Brown Road, Broadmeadow, on Tuesday, January 15, at 11am and 2pm, and Wednesday, January 16, at 11am. Tickets: $29.50 to $37.50; family of four $110 to $140. Bookings: 49212121. 

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