“And at last I see the light…”
So last week, we went piratey, but this week in honor of Valentine’s Day, I think we should get a little more romantic with our Mousertainment and focus on one of the Disneyland shows that can really touch its audiences’ hearts – Tangled at the Royal Theatre at Fantasy Faire!
What is Tangled at the Royal Theatre?
They’ve been described as “vaudevillian” but the small plays at the Royal Theatre always remind me of being at the Renaissance Faire. These presentations are “low budget” and feature small casts with one musical accompanist, but it’s their intimacy and humor that makes them so special. And my favorite recounting at the Royal Theatre is Tangled (other offerings here include Beauty & The Beast and Frozen).
Two hosts retell the timeless tale of Tangled with the help of some special guests. They recreate the events of the story and sing a few songs along the way. And of course they all live happily ever, ever, ever after!
It’s a show that has full equal appeal to the youngest kids and the weariest parents – because it’s funny for all ages and very charming.
There are benches around the venue for the grownups and round rugs up by the stage for the sea of little princess dresses that tend to swarm the front of the Royal Theatre productions. Prior to the performance, the crowd is taught how to greet the heroes with a hearty “Huzzah!” and condemn the villain with a disapproving “Fie!” There is almost a feeling of British panto with this kind of audience participation – and the more the audience plays along, the more the cast enjoys it and responds.
Who are the performers?
The players include the hosts, Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones, who perform multiple roles along with the Faire Maidens who help with the scenery and props and prompt the audience when to clap or shout out to the cast.
The piano accompanist is Sir Samuel of Morocco. (Just let that joke sit for a minute. Took a bit for it to register with me too.)
And the special guests are Rapunzel and Flynn Rider who help to tell their story.
When and where can I find it?
The Royal Theatre in Fantasyland holds performances six times a day. When Tangled and Beauty & the Beast (the other original Royal Theatre occupant) were in rotation together, Tangled would usually play the first three showtimes of the day and Beauty & the Beast would play the last three in the afternoon. Time permitting, Rapunzel and Flynn would sometimes take a few minutes to meet with their fans after the first two shows of the day and sign autographs and pose for pictures.
However, Tangled is currently on hiatus while Frozen takes over the Royal Theatre (a review of that production is on the to-do list!), but Disney has stated that Rapunzel and Belle’s tales may both return again at some point in the future.
Why spotlight it?
Tangled at the Royal Theatre has a greater repeatability factor for me than almost any other show in the park. I know it by heart and still love it – half for the story and songs and half for the wonderful performers at the venue.
I love its low budget style, informal presentation and cozy setting. With the simple accompaniment of a piano and some wonderful singing, magic happens here.
Plus it’s a great place to visit with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider after the performance! One can also say hello to Sir Samuel here if he has a moment. My only quibble is that Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones don’t make an appearance afterward as well – hey, some of us Smythe & Jones fans want to say hello to you guys, too!
I really can’t recommend this show highly enough – it’s funny, it’s sweet and it’s a jewel in the crown of Fantasy Faire! Let’s hope it returns soon!
Have you seen Tangled at The Royal Theatre? Is it your favorite show there or do you prefer another?
Update 1/14/16: So VERY excited that Disney has just announced the return of the beloved tale of Tangled to the Royal Theatre – starting TOMORROW!!! What are you waiting for? Go see it!