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Princesses on Broadway

I was appalled to learn that the beautiful Broadway actress, Diana Huey, was dealing with disgusting racist comments about being an Asian American cast in the role of my favorite princess in the touring production of The Little Mermaid. The play had a short-lived run on Broadway in 2007 before several songs were cut and a few were added for the tour. Diana is one of many women to portray Ariel, but one of very few women of color to do so. A few days ago, she wrote a beautiful Facebook post highlighting her concerns on the matter, which made me love her even more. I think she makes a beautiful mermaid princess. The Broadway stage is notoriously color blind. It values singing, dancing, and acting skills above all else. Princesses come in all colors, shapes and sizes.

Princess stories have a long history of being portrayed onstage. One of the most famous productions is Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, which debuted as a live TV special starring Julie Andrews in 1957.  The show …

Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade XX

Have you ever wished you could put on a princess dress and fly away to a magical realm where anything is possible? The Labyrinth Masquerade Ball is the closest thing you can get to that, and it just came back to the Millenium Biltmore Hotel here in Los Angeles for its twentieth year! My husband I had the pleasure of being among its may attendees last night. As a bonus, it even gave me a rare excuse to wear my wedding dress again. I was surprised how many compliments I got on it, considering how many elaborate fantasy and faery costumes there were.

Beginning in 1997, the Labyrinth of Jareth was inspired by the masquerade scene featuring the late David Bowie in Jim Henson's 1986 film, Labyrinth. In order to recreate the dreamlike quality of the film, the event requires all attendees to wear either formal attire and masks or elaborate fantasy costumes. People go all out for this each year, donning tons of glittery, enormous wings, face paint, light-up props, and anything else you cou…

Theme Park Princesses

Yesterday, I talked about how much fun it can be to dress up as a princess for a day. Meeting princesses can be just as much fun. In fact, it's my absolute favorite thing to do when I visit the Disney Parks. I have an endless library of photos I've had taken with all of the Disney Princesses. It is the closest thing to being able to hang out with a cartoon character in real life. Disney performers are also not allowed to tell people that they play a character and must instead say that they are "friends" with that character, making the magic of meeting them feel that much more authentic.

I have visited both American Disney parks countless times, and I have also been to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. I've seen the parks go through many changes over the years, mostly for the better. Princesses have grown exponentially in popularity, so Walt Disney World and Disneyland have been working hard to accommodate for this by building nicer rooms to meet the princess…

The Little Mermaid Special That's Not Airing Tonight

Earlier this year, ABC made an announcement that they would be airing a special tonight featuring live performances of Disney's The Little Mermaid called The Little Mermaid Live! The special was presumably to follow in the footsteps of a tradition NBC reinstated with Peter Pan LIVE! in 2014 in which they would air a live performance of a well-known musical once a year. Appropriately enough, this tradition started with Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in 1957 starring Julie Andrews as Cinderella. Julie just celebrated her 82nd birthday two days ago. FOX tried their hand at copying this tradition last year with Grease Live! to underwhelming success. I guess as the parent company of Disney, which is known for their musicals, ABC felt obligated to get the ball rolling on their own version of this.

Unfortunately, someone must have jumped the gun with The Little Mermaid Live! because only a few short months after its commencement, they announced that the project was pulled. The …

The Most Princess Things That Ever Happened at D23

Before we begin, I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to Jodi Benson, the voice of my favorite princess. Jodi is a regular attendee of the D23 Expo, and I was fortunate enough to see her perform there during the Disney Legend Awards ceremony. I've been talking about princess-themed events lately, and there's no bigger Disney Princess fan event out there than D23. It is the official convention for Disney fans that takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center every other year. The expo is the one chance that fans get to interact with the people who worked on their favorite movies and preview ones that are still in production. I have been to three of the five expos that have taken place since 2009. They also have a huge interactive exhibit floor where they sell new merchandise, display artwork, costumes, and props from movies, and hold autograph signings. It is the ultimate experience for any Disney fan.

D23 is the name of the official Disney fan club that the company estab…

New Disney Cruise Lines Beauty and the Beast Show

Earlier today, Disney Cruise Lines shared a sneak preview of their new Beauty and the Beast show on Facebook. Performances of the show started on the Disney Dream ship this past Monday. Beauty and the Beast has already had tons of stage adaptations including a pretty long run on Broadway a few years after the 1991 movie came out. It also had a smaller stage show at the theme park formerly known as MGM Studios in Florida. Considering everything that came before it, the new show runs the risk of coming off as a tired rehash. Fortunately, it introduces a new aesthetic based heavily on the 2017 live-action remake that prevents it from feeling like a copycat of its former incarnations. The new production also uses the aesthetic of cogs and gears from Maurice's music boxes to transition between scenes.

Broadway shows generally have a run time of two and a half hours, while theme park shows are closer to a half-hour or forty-five minutes. Cruise shows lie somewhere in the middle, so this…

November Princess Anniversaries

It's a big month for princess movies. Last week was the 28th anniversary of my favorite movie, The Little Mermaid. As I've discussed in a previous post, Disney is going all out this month to celebrate the 80th anniversary of their very first movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. On Monday night, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City put on a live show to unveil their gorgeous window displays honoring the film. The displays are similar to the ones at the Emporium at the Disney Parks, but much larger in scale. They portray detailed animatronics of every major scene in the movie, from the wishing well to the fated kiss, as well as the new clothing designed specifically for the event.

The special, called "Once Upon a Holiday," was streamed live on YouTube and social media. Fans crowded around Fifth Avenue to see the Saks Fifth Avenue president give a moving speech about the film, followed by a choreographed performance from the Seven Dwarfs. Sofia Carson, who plays the Ev…

Review: The Broadway Princess Party

Tonight is the night you've been waiting for. I had (nearly) front row seats for Laura Osnes's Broadway Princess Party at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and I'm here to tell you all about it, as promised. Even though getting to Costa Mesa from Hollywood during rush hour was a bit of a hassle, it was completely worth the wait. Though tonight was the first of three performances only at the Segerstrom, the show has been traveling around in other places for roughly two years. Tonight's concert featured three very prestigious princesses of Broadway. Laura Osnes, the headliner, starred in a revival of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Susan Egan, who needs no introduction but I'll give one anyway, is famous for originating the role of Belle on Broadway and doing the voice of Megara in Disney's animated 1997 feature, Hercules. Last but not least is Courtney Reed, who originated the role of Jasmine in Disney's new Broadway production of Aladdin.

The ven…

Pirate's Dinner Adventure vs. Medieval Times

Happy New Year, princess fans! I took a brief hiatus from Story Saturday over the holidays, but I'm back with more princess updates for you. Did you do anything exciting to celebrate the new year? I attended a dinner show at Medieval Times last night. It was a great way to ring in 2018. Last New Year's Eve, I went to Pirate's Dinner Adventure. While both shows have a princess in them and are set up very similarly, I believe that the Pirate's Dinner Adventure has more to offer to princess fans and in general. Both dinner experiences assign your party a color that determines which section of the room you will be sitting in and which knight or pirate you will be cheering for. Over the course of the show, wait staff in era-appropriate costumes serve food and drink while attempting not to interrupt your enjoyment of the main event.

The reason I think that Pirate's Dinner Adventure is superior to Medieval Times is that it tells more of a story and contains more dazzling …

Disney's Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending one of Walt Disney World's newest character dining experiences, the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Disney's BoardWalk Inn. What makes this breakfast stand out from other theme park princess experiences such as Ariel's Grotto or Cinderella's Royal Table is that the Bon Voyage Breakfast allows you to meet two of the most popular Disney Princesses from their 1989 classic, The Little Mermaid, and their more recent 2010 hit, Tangled,along with their princes. Since romantic interests have become increasingly less popular as of late, opportunities to meet princes at the Disney Parks are extremely rare. That's why I was very excited to learn about the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast opening up at the Trattoria Al Forno restaurant about a year ago. Finally, I would have a guaranteed opportunity to meet Flynn Rider and Prince Eric alongside Rapunzel and Ariel. I remember how excited I was at the prospect of meeting Prince Eric whe…

Review: Aladdin The Musical

In 2003, an amazing stage show based on the 1992 animated classic opened at Disney's California Adventure park called Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular. Sadly, that show recently closed in 2016 and was replaced with a Frozen stage show. Now the only opportunity to see an official Disney stage production of Aladdin rests in the hands of the 2014 Broadway play, which I saw on tour tonight at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. This new musical production barely had a chance of winning my favor in my heart because I was already such a huge fan of the retired Disneyland version. My low expectations were barely met. I found the new musical to be inferior to the Disneyland show in every possible way.

I had a pleasant experience with the theater itself. It was my first time at the Pantages, even though I've lived in California for over seven years. The layout is very similar to Disney's El Capitan Theatre, where they screen the latest Disney movies. The theater staff was friendly, an…


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