The Committee for Creative Enactments’ (CCE) presentation of Celebration was a festive bash, lauding the hard work and heart its members put into every interaction. The zany, shocking murder mystery had twists and turns that left the audience stunned. Written by Christian Moro and Ben Blumenstock, both MCAS ’19, and directed by Campbell Disbrow, MCAS ’18, the murder mystery and the daft tales spun by CCE will be remembered by all who attended.
This wacky story took place in the town of Celebration, an area of Disney World that was described as a veritable utopia nestled in the oasis of central Florida. Eerily, characters described the uncanny demeanor of the town, where the weather is always sunny and everyone is always smiling.
Everything was happy and majestic until the start of this dastardly musical. Waiting to unfurl the mystery ahead, audiences met a slew of Disney characters including Walt Disney (Christian Moro, MCAS ’19) Mickey and Minnie (Drew Gillis, MCAS ’19, and Lyana White, MCAS ’20), Donald and Daisy Duck (Henry Camacho, MCAS ’19, and Sam Kramer, MCAS ’20), Chip and Dale (Sabrina Serani, MCAS ’18, and Gerry Menna, MCAS ’20), Goofy (Emma MacKinnon, MCAS ’20), and various princesses like Rapunzel and Snow White (Colleen Doyle, MCAS ’19), and Roy Trimble (MCAS ’18).
After a dreamy opening, the show swerved in a new direction when the villainous Agent Pete arrived on a government mission to lay out a new set of rules for the town. Similar to The Purge, Pete declared all crimes legal for the next 24 hours. This opened the floodgates for some behavior that had never been seen before in Celebration. As the musical progresses, it is up to the characters to try and stop this new rule and all the destruction it causes.
[aesop_gallery id=”133785″ revealfx=”off”]
The plot was advanced by endearing performances of classic Disney songs, replacing the original lyrics with ones that fit the events of the show. One of the songs, “Yes I Can,” was set to “Be a Man” from Mulan, which showed Mickey’s attempt to prove that in spite of his high-pitched voice and lack of physical strength, he still would be able to fight Agent Pete in the temporarily lawless town.
The costumes the actors wore enhanced the mood of the musical. The care and attention the group paid to small details brought the characters to life. The audience latched onto elements like Mickey’s face paint, or Rapunzel’s intricate braid, which demonstrated the dedication of CCE to deliver a dynamic performance. The princesses wore their trademark gowns, and some of the roles were gender-bent, which gave the performance an inverted and unexpected element of hilarity.
The show also incorporated novel takes on popular Disney characters. Mickey was such a hesitant, and at times hysterical character, with a squeaky voice and timid attitude, whereas Minnie took the lead on a lot of the issues facing the town. A similar couple, Donald and Daisy Duck seemingly inverted roles. Although not as timid as Mickey, Donald was a bit hesitant and had a squeaky voice that led his words to be taken less seriously than say the head of the town, Walt. Daisy, however, was an evil opposite of Minnie. Daisy was, comically, thrilled by the and wanted to take full advantage of the situation. This was the chance she’d been looking for to free herself from her husband Donald. These interpretations left the audience bewildered and intrigued.
Throughout the show, each actor stayed in character even as the audience cackled at their outrageous lines and bizarre situations. When a part called for confidence, they were there to deliver. The actors also managed to put a personal flair on their particular characters. Whether it was an extra hair flip from a princess or an interesting interaction in the background of the scene, everyone was in his or her element.
Filled with goofy one-liners and creative consequences for this not-so-ordinary situation, Celebration was a hilarious, interesting take on how Disney could go wrong. Although the play itself is far from a celebration, it should be celebrated for its originality.
Featured Image By Jake Catania / Heights Staff