Review: CPHS Princess Tea - Rapunzel's Surprise Birthday Party

Last year, I attended a Princess Tea that was presented by the Cedar Park High School Choir and was pleased to learn that it is an annual event. That year, the theme was A Winter's Ball. This month, the event rolled around again, and I was excited to see more of the beautiful costumes and harmonizing from the talented team behind this show. This year's theme was Rapunzel's Surprise Birthday Party, which sounded super exciting because Rapunzel loves celebrating her birthday! The event is mainly a concert performed by a different group of choir students each year with some light dialogue between songs that form a story to connect them like a play. It's really neat how they're able to come up with a new story each year, but it's mainly just an excuse to sing a bunch of princess songs.


The event setup was similar to last year, with student helpers walking around in mouse ears to seat guests at their tables. The entryway to the event was a big castle archway with Rapunzel's floating lanterns hanging over it to match the theme. They had the same photo spot with a pink castle background in the lobby and many fun princess items like tiaras and wands being sold to the kids. Also like last year, each table was themed after one of the princesses at the event. The table contained letters written by each princess to welcome their guests as well as storybooks and activities relating to that princess. I was seated at the Rapunzel table with an alumnus of the Princess Tea. Snacks and drinks were served along with princess-themed cupcakes containing plastic Disney Princess rings. The stage was decorated with Corona flags from Rapunzel's kingdom.




This year's show featured only Disney characters and songs, which was a tad disappointing for me because I love paying tribute to other creatives besides Disney who are just as capable of making unique adaptations of princesses and fairy tales that haven't been told as much. That's why I was so stoked that last year's show included a nod to both Shrek the Musical and the Barbie movies. Regardless, the entire cast did an amazing job of harmonizing with perfect pitch to well-known Disney songs. I was particularly excited about seeing Sofia the First in this year's group, who is by far my favorite TV protagonist. She even did a solo performance of one of the key songs from her series, "I Belong." Other characters at the event included Cinderella and Prince Charming, Belle and the Beast, Aurora and Phillip, Ariel and Eric, Mirabel and Bruno, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, Snow White, Megara, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and, of course, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider/Eugene.

   

The show opened with the princesses playfully criticizing Flynn Rider for not planning a birthday party for Rapunzel. This led to the opening number and quite possibly my favorite from the show, "That's How You Know" from Enchanted. The song was performed a cappella style with female vocalists and gorgeous synchronized choreography involving twirls and fluttering arm movements. A similar performance of this song was presented at the official Disney Princess Concert, but I think I liked this version better. It was more graceful and genuine. After that, the princesses start making plans for Rapunzel's surprise party. Sofia stole the show with her song and commentary about how she doesn't quite fit in with the other princesses due to her age. When Aurora talked about finding true love to introduce her performance of "Once Upon a Dream," Sofia interceded with "I'm 11," which got a nice laugh, though the characters from Sofia the First were never explicitly given ages in the show. Another performance that was done similarly to the Disney Princess Concert was "I Won't Say I'm in Love," with a small group of princesses providing backup as Megara's muses.


This year's show also included lots of interactive portions for the children in the audience. Not only did the performers regularly walk around the room to the audience's tables while they sang, but they also played games with the little girls at various points throughout the show. They performed princess versions of "Simon Says," "Freeze Dance," and did something similar to the Dream Along with Mickey Show from the Year of a Million Dreams in which they went around asking the children to tell them what their dream is and announcing some of them over the speakers. There was also a part where they came out and danced with the girls in the audience that started out more interactive and random and then gradually became more choreographed as "Kingdom Dance" from Tangled blasted over the speakers and picked up intensity. It brought back memories of the dancing minigame from Kingdom Hearts III.

Overall, this year's Princess Tea was a smashing success. The setup was just as professional as last year, and the performers were incredibly talented. The dialogue between some of the songs may have been a bit lacking, but that was made up for with the gorgeous harmonies, choreography, and costumes. I was also very impressed with three songs that the boys performed right before the intermission, including an extended version of "The Bells of Notre Dame" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I can't wait to see what they do next year! Do you have any fun princess events like this in your hometown? Let me know in the comments!


P.S. The princess Blog will be on hiatus for about a week and a half to explore the new Disney Wish Cruise Ship! I'll be back late next week with a recap of my adventures.

Comments

Sugar said…
Unfortunately not :c, but an aunt had the opportunity to go to a costume party! and people dressed up as they wanted of course there were long dresses even though my aunt chose to be a girl from the 20s.
Lisa Dawn said…
That sounds really neat! I used to go to anime conventions a lot just to have an excuse to dress up. There was also a masquerade ball I went to a couple of times in Los Angeles that was inspired by the movie Labyrinth.
Amy Johnson said…
Thank you so much for this amazing review! I'm the mom of last year's Anna and this year's Sofia, and I can tell you the performers are possibly more excited about this event each year than the attendees! The princes and princesses are members of CPHS varsity choirs and acapella groups and work tirelessly all year to improve their craft. It just so happens that this year Sleeping Beauty, Kristoff, Snow White, and Peter Pan all earned the distinction of being part of the All-State Choir (that's a big deal). As we close the chapter on our 15th year, it is becoming more common that the princesses attended the event as children! We (booster club parents) make a point of encouraging kids at the show to participate in their elementary school music programs and to choose choir as an elective in middle school. Teachers and directors make all the difference! If you saw the fairy godmother at the event, she is the high school choir director, Lisa Holt, who started this whole thing 15 years ago and grows these talented students into the performers you see on stage. Stay tuned for next year!
Lisa Dawn said…
That is fantastic, and your daughter is awesome!

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