Review: CPHS Princess Tea - Ariel's Treasure Hunt

The best time of the year is back! Every year, the Cedar Park High School Choir gets together to write a brand-new show filled with princesses, songs, and games for its annual Princess Tea. This year's show, Ariel's Treasure Hunt, is the third one I attended since moving to the area. Many things remained the same such as the lobby set up with fairy tale photo ops, royal souvenirs, and the castle entryway, but there were plenty of surprises to be found during the performance as well. The female choral group, known as the Seasons, dominated this year's show with a wide array of Disney Princesses, while the male singing group, Pitch Black, cosplayed various Disney heroes, supported the princesses, and performed several group numbers during the intermission. I sat at the Cinderella table, which was adorned with an old storybook, an autographed note, and a clock stuck at midnight.



This year's show, which is freshly written by students each year, revolves around Ariel wanting to give Eric the perfect gift for their anniversary, but none of the princesses can remember who had it last! So they must fly all around the world on Jasmine's borrowed Magic Carpet to each princess's kingdom in search of an old compass that Ariel found in the ocean and wants to return to Eric. The sets for each kingdom are pretty simple, mostly consisting of a background poster and table containing some recognizable trinkets from that princess's story. Throughout the show, we travel to France, Mount Olympus, Corona, Arendelle, and finally back to Atlantica. Each journey involves the princesses sitting in front of the stage on a roll-out magic carpet (until it gets stolen back by Aladdin) and harmonizing to beautiful Disney songs. Their first performance, an a capella rendition of "Colors of the Wind" was my favorite from the show.


Though the previous Princess Teas I attended had bigger surprises, including appearances from non-Disney Princesses like Fiona and Anastasia as well as my favorite lesser-known Disney Princess, Sofia the First, this show also had some charming moments. A few fun highlights include Aurora curling up under the Magic Carpet to take a snooze during one of several audience interaction moments, a complete reenactment of the famous scene from Wreck-It Ralph 2 in which Vanellope von Schweetz convinces the Disney Princesses that she is one of them, and a charming finale featuring "Lava," the underrated Pixar short that premiered before Inside Out. I love that the Princess Tea has a new theme each year, keeping it fresh and motivating audiences to come back year after year. This year's show featured my favorite Disney Princess, Ariel, in the spotlight. While it turned out her role wasn't much bigger than the others, there was a solo rendition of "Part of Your World" and a surprise appearance from Sebastian near the end.


                 

The Princess Tea does a better job than Disney at celebrating both the past and present of the company. Disney has been shamelessly attempting to change their image of what it means to be a princess over the past decade, effectively erasing their older masterpieces with mediocre live-action remakes. This show had a great female empowerment moment following Megara's performance of "I Won't Say I'm in Love." Throughout the show, Meg is portrayed as being stuck between her feelings for Hercules and her desire to be an independent modern woman, matching her perspective in the film as a damsel in distress who can handle it. After a bit of discourse with the other princesses, they come to the conclusion that Megara should do whatever makes her happy whether that means being in a romantic relationship with Hercules or staying independent. This was a great scene that Disney could learn from for their modern films instead of trying to forcibly change the narrative. However, the show also gives a nod to some of the modern Disney remakes with the costumes they selected for Cinderella and Prince Charming and a performance of "Speechless" from Princess Jasmine.



The Princess Tea is a magical experience that transcends generations. Whether you're a young child wide-eyed with wonder or an adult reliving the joy of your childhood, this event has something for everyone. This year's "Ariel's Treasure Hunt" takes audiences on a whirlwind adventure across various Disney kingdoms, with each princess showcasing their unique personalities and iconic songs. But the magic doesn't stop here! Did you attend this year's Princess Tea? Perhaps you have fond memories of a past show? Tell me if there are similar local events you cherish, share them as well! Let's create a space where the magic of princesses continues to sparkle and inspire. Together, we can keep the fairytales alive in our hearts and communities.

Comments

Kieran Callahan said…
You can’t just call something Disney acquired the rights to “non-Disney”! Anastasia was acquired by Disney!

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