The next generation
Disney always has had children in mind with its animated series and live productions, but its newest touring show is designed to appeal to its youngest viewers.
“Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure” features characters from “Sofia the First,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” and “Doc McStuffins,” all part of the Disney Channel’s weekday morning lineup geared toward preschool age children.
However, performance director Antoine Banks-Sullivan said it’s not just the little one who seem to be enjoying themselves.
“The kids are on their feet from the preshow with ‘Doc McStuffins’ until the end,” Banks-Sullivan said. “They know all the songs, and the parents do too.”
The tour premiered in July, and as performance director, Banks-Sullivan, 28, is responsible for making sure that the show the creators designed earlier this year is executed the way it was conceived on every stop on the tour, including two shows Saturday at the Covelli Centre.
“I am with the unit from the first day of rehearsal until the last load out,” Banks-Sullivan said. “This show is absolutely amazing, and I’m a perfectionist. I always want my show to look good. I’m just figuring ways to keep the show fresh for the cast and maintain the integrity of the show that the director and the choreographer wanted.”
In this production, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse lead the audience on a journey that covers the three shows. The preshow features Doc McStuffins, a 6-year-old girl who cares for toys and stuffed animals and features such tunes from the show as “The Check-Up Song.”
The audience then heads to Enchancia, where Sofia is learning to be a princess after her mother marries a king. The kingdom is getting ready for its Friendship Festival, and Sofia gets help from a very special princess in finding the perfect gift to give to her royal subject.
Never Land is the setting for the second half of the story as Jake and his pirate friends try to find a treasure-filled volcano. Captain Hook and Peter Pan make appearances in the caper, and the show bridges the generations by including the new characters designed for preschoolers with classic Disney characters known to their parents and grandparents.
“These are newer brands for Disney, but they do have the same core values of family and respect, and they are educational tools for kids,” Banks-Sullivan said. “While Aladdin and Peter Pan were teach me things as a kid, they have Sofia and Jake for a newer generation.”