Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Disney on Ice: Movies in Real Life

Perhaps you remember the great time my family had this past fall at the circus? For us, performances of all kinds are things to adore. Having been involved in theater myself throughout high school and college, I eagerly took my son to his first performance of a play (a musical comedic version of Pinocchio) when he was just shy of two years old, and he sat like a stone throughout the whole near-two-hour show...and then burst into tears when the lights came up because he didn't want it to be over.

After that rousing success, we have jumped at the chance to take the kids to live performances whenever we can. Sometimes these are professional performances; sometimes they are university productions; sometimes they are free concerts in the park on balmy summer nights. Whether we're off to see a puppet show, a musical, a sporting event, or a circus, though, both kids (now ages five and nearly-three) are extra-excited that there will be real people there performing! In costumes! Singing! Or Taming Tigers! Or Running Around with Balls! Or, in the case of our exciting upcoming event: Ice Skating! (Childish enthusiasm requires the exclamation points, you understand.)

We took them to see Disney on Ice this past fall -- back when the Incredibles were on tour, as it were. Despite the chill in the air around the open rink, and the fact that, as my son rightly pointed out, "that boy doesn't quite look like the real Dash," they had a wonderful time. It was fascinating to watch my son look for similarities and differences to the movie he loves, while his little sister was primarily interested in all the "bootiful" skating.

So in a few weeks, we are off the The Palace at Auburn Hills for another Disney extravaganza -- this time in the form of "Worlds of Fantasy." To be honest, it's not clear to me that anything about Disney is anything but worlds of fantasy, but the name aside, this show promises to have something for everyone. With vignette performances from the favorite characters of a number of recent classics, I am sure they'll both be thrilled. Lightening McQueen will be there, as will The Little Mermaid, the animals from The Lion King's "circle of life" and Tinker Bell and a passel of her fairy friends. As if this weren't enough, there is a complimentary Princesses fashion show before the actual skating performance starts.

My son is just interested enough in gender stereotypes that I am predicting this will happen: he will adopt a high-pitched, coddling voice, wrap his arm protectively around his little sister's shoulders, and usher her down to "meet the princesses" -- all because he is absolutely certain that this is precisely my daughter's deepest heart's desire. I'm not sure why he thinks she wants him to talk in a falsetto every time he mentions pink or princesses, but nonetheless, his effort to be kind to her is lovely, even if I later have to help undo the stereotypes by demonstrating to him that, in fact, she is quite as fond of racing cars as she is of dressing up in her pink fairy princess costume. (I swear, I'll post a follow up to let you know if this prediction comes true.)

The bottom line is: the show is sure to be impressive, fun, and delightful. AND, thanks to the good folks at MomCentral and Feld Entertainment, you too can get a great deal on tickets if you are in the Detroit area at the end of February. You can get a big discount by mentioning the code MOM when you purchase your tickets. This will entitle you to a set of four tickets for any performance for just $44. (Not valid on rink-side or VIP seats.)

This discount is only valid for shows at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Wednesday, February 25 - Sunday, March 1. There are matinee performance on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in addition to the evening performances throughout the run. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at 1-800-745-3000.

What could be better than the movies come to life?

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