Disney On Ice returns to Show Me Center

Saturday, November 4, 2006

By MATT SANDERS

Southeast Missourian

Eleven years have passed since Disney on Ice visited Cape Girardeau. On Thursday the event will return with a show commemorating Disney's 100th anniversary.

The Disney on Ice "100 Years of Magic" tour will visit the Show Me Center Thursday through Nov. 12, with a theatrical performance featuring characters as old as Mickey Mouse and as new as the fish Nemo from "Finding Nemo."

Forty-seven performers from 10 countries will take the ice over the tour's four-day stop in Cape Girardeau, said "100 Years of Magic" performance director Cory Obst. Characters like Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, Snow White, characters from "The Incredibles," "Finding Nemo," "Aladdin," "Mulan" and "The Lion King" are just some being portrayed by those performers.

"You get to see a whole family, maybe with grandparents there, and you see the reaction from three generations," said Obst, whose job puts him in the position of audience members, observing the show. "The kids know the songs, the parents know the songs, from classics up to the modern day stories."

The show clocks in at just under two hours, Obst said. Stories flow quickly from character to character, featuring highlights like 20 synchronized skating genies from "Aladdin" and a backdrop of falling snow while the character Mulan battles the Huns.

A quick pace helps maintain the attention of the children who are the show's primary audience, Obst said. "It's a good length for the kids," he said. "There's always so much new stuff coming out, every six or seven minutes a new story is coming out."

Show Me Center marketing director Shannon Buford said hosting Disney on Ice is part of the venue's desire to offer family-oriented entertainment on a regular basis. In April the Show Me Center hosted the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which was attended by approximately 3,000 people.

Buford said the last time Disney on Ice came to the arena, shows didn't sell out, but the turnout was "good all around."

Ticket sales have been "slow and steady, and that's the way all of our family shows go," he said.

Obst said Disney on Ice has a strong reputation in family entertainment, which should help attract parents and children. "It's got a really great history and really has become synonymous for live family entertainment," he said.

The "100 Years of Magic" tour will be the first ice show the Show Me Center has hosted since the last Disney on Ice stop here in 1995, said Buford.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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