First, The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is fantastic. Second (for most people), anything Disney transports them into a place filled with joy and adventure. Third and most important, when the two are combined with the added bonus of an extraordinary quartet of vocalists that seem to have stepped right out of the Disney films, it delivers an evening of genuine magic for kids and ‘kids at heart’.
As a family, we are big Disney fans – it did not take much to convince us that this was a concert worth attending. That said, we had no idea what was in store for us; we figured fun movie clips and the usual superb performance by the Pops led by their infectious conductor, John Morris Russell (whom I personally believe is actually a young and happy Mr. Fredrickson from Disney’s Up!). However, it was SO much more…the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra delivered an exceptional performance and made you smile with their trademark red jackets and for Mr. Russell – red shoelaces! The Disney movie clips were shown on a giant projection screen that ensured that even the most pint-sized member of the audience had a perfect view and provided a seamless story of scenes ranging from dreams, friendship, love, and battling evil. What took it over the top was the performances of the four vocalists Lisa Livesay, Whitney Claire Kaufman, Aaron Phillips and Andrew Johnson. They were not only extremely talented, but they clearly understood and appreciated both the Pops and Disney magic.
Our favorite songs/scenes varied with my youngest daughter loving the ‘Villains Medley’, my oldest chose ‘Hercules Gospel Medley’ (she loves anything Greek mythology), and my husband fell for ‘The Princess and the Frog Medley’. While the vocalists were fantastic, my personal favorites were the two selections that showcased the Pops: ‘Disney Memories Overture’ and ‘Battle with the Forces of Evil’, the latter adapted from a theme by Tchaikovsky. The singers brought the performance to another level and entertained from start to finish, but the moments when only the Pops played allowed you to truly immerse in the moment and feel the magic. The added bonus was an encore of the ‘Lion King’ which topped the night off beautifully. The Cincinnati Pops Disney in Concert: Tale as Old of Time was a journey into what makes our hearts smile led by powerful music, images and performances.
Christi Geary is the proud mom of two feisty and fabulous girls (almost 7 and 10!), best friend and wife of her husband Brian, and an Associate Director at the Procter & Gamble Company focused on shopper insights and analytics. She is passionate about art of all kinds, feeds an insatiable curiosity for learning, pursues different forms of exercise when she can find the time, and delights in spending time with family and friends.