Everyone Is Singing Princess Songs!

In these tough times, we could all use a smile and a song to cheer ourselves up. Hollywood and Broadway are shut down right now, but the people behind them still want to bring joy to the world. That's why the past few days have been filled with beautiful musical performances for everyone with a computer to stream online from the comfort of their own homes. Various stage shows such as the Disney Cruise Lines adaptation of the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie and weekly recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest hits that used to require an expensive ticket and carefully planned trip are now available to watch from the comfort of our own living room for free thanks to the magic of the internet and the generosity of entertainers. Many of the people who performed in these glorious productions still have the urge to entertain people from quarantine, so we were also treated to more recently recorded serenades of various Disney songs that follow the stay-at-home guidelines beginning with the Disney Family Singalong on ABC last Thursday night.


This made-for-TV special was put together by a bunch of ABC celebrities who refused to go speechless while locked away in their towers. Performances included Auli'i Cravalho singing her signature song, "How Far I'll Go," from Moana, Ariana Grande performing "I Won't Say I'm in Love" from Hercules, and Amber Riley with a cover of "Let It Go" from Frozen. The highlight of the show was the very first performance of the night, which featured Dancing With the Stars' Derek Hough, Hayler Erbert, and Julianne Hough in a magical kitchen spectacle of "Be Our Guest," complete with instant costume changes, killer dance moves, and sweeping camera angles. I'm not sure how these three managed to stage such a professional performance in isolation. It certainly looked like they brought a whole camera crew with them! Though not part of the Disney Family Singalong, the incredibly talented singer/songwriter Darcy Rose Byrnes, who starred as Princess Amber in Sofia the First, also recorded a princess performance recently containing rewritten lyrics to the song "Journey to the Past" from Anastasia, which is now a Disney movie. You can check out her hilariously beautiful rendition of that below.


The lights of Broadway didn't feel so dark on Friday when we received not one, but two pre-recorded shows streamed right into our towers for free on YouTube. Both of these shows were streamed to support charity funds for COVID-19 efforts on behalf of the performers. The first one was the next show in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Shows Must Go On series, which started two weeks ago with a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This weekend he premiered the 25th-anniversary performance of his classic Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall in London. You'd better watch it while you still can because this free show will only be available for a few more hours. The breathtaking performance stars Sierra Boggess as Christine, who I met about 15 years ago when she originated the role of Ariel for Disney's short-lived run of The Little Mermaid on Broadway. This princess of the stage really gives it her all as Christine in a gorgeous and emotional performance that shows off her amazing soprano vocals. Phantom is a popular show among princess fans because of its similarities to the plot of "Beauty and the Beast" as well as its beautiful love songs. The sequel to Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies (yes, there is a sequel) will be available for 48 hours starting this Friday, April 25th as part of the same program.


Shortly after this spectacular musical streamed live, Disney got in on the action with a Disney on Broadway 25th Anniversary Concert special that was pre-recorded in November. The stream was hosted live by Ryan McCartan from his living room and was intercut with live living room interviews with many of the people who performed at the concert, including Sierra Boggess herself, who sang a song from King David. I was particularly pleased that it was Kerry Butler, and not Sierra, who performed Ariel's signature song "Part of Your World" for the special. I have been a fan of Kerry's work ever since she starred as the title character in my favorite animated series, Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders. She recorded the demo soundtrack for The Little Mermaid on Broadway, so her voice was the first one I heard to perform the original songs that Alan Menken wrote for Ariel in the play. I always secretly wished that she had gotten the role instead of Sierra, and she proved herself more than worthy of it with her performance here. Another highlight of the nearly three-hour-long concert was when Broadway's original Belle, Susan Egan, did a duet of "I Won't Say I'm in Love" with Krysta Rodriguez, who played Megara in the short-lived Public Works' production of Hercules.


The tragedies we have suffered over the past couple of months remind us not to take anything for granted. I am incredibly grateful to all of these performers for filling my life with beautiful music during these trying times. You should definitely check these shows out if you need your spirits lifted with some hopeful princess songs, and maybe even sing along! I've always been an avid fan of musical theater, but the cost and travel challenges can be an obstacle to seeing as many shows as I would like. It's wonderful that these entertainers are using their talents to keep us motivated and even more so that they are promoting a worthy cause. You can use the YouTube links in this post for the Phantom of the Opera and 25th Anniversary Disney on Broadway concerts to donate to their COVID-19 efforts.

Comments

Princesscore said…
On a more satirical note, it amused me a lot that on youtube, many people made reprises of "When will my life begin" ( Tangled), and more rarely "Part of that world", or "Do you want to build a snowman", accordingly to circumstances (Gee, I did not realized so many Disney princesses started their lives confined). Guess that after the quarantine, the reprise of "When will my life begin", and "For the first time in forever" will be heard.
Lisa Dawn said…
Oh yes, the desire to be free is certainly a common theme in princess movies. See my post here: http://www.theprincessblog.org/2018/02/the-desire-to-be-free.html
Katie said…
I love this!

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