“Laughter on the levee, no one’s heart is heavy…”
In this patriotic week, I realized that I am long overdue to spotlight several of our bass-singing Dapper Dans of Disneyland – those staples of Main Street, U.S.A.!
These talented low-vocal red-and-white-costumed fellows provide much of the levity and comedy in the Dapper Dan routines, so I wanted to give a quick shout-out to a few more of these talented guys!
First up is Dapper Ken – Ken is a jovial gentleman for whom Dappering seems to be not just second nature, but first! Some people just seem so right in their roles and Ken is one of them! He’s got a lovely warm voice and an equally warm personality to go with it – with just a hint (okay, maybe more than a hint) of mischief in his eyes as well. He’s particularly fun to watch during the Halloween Dapper sets. I always wind up grinning when Ken is performing!
Next up is Dapper Wesley – Wesley is simply the one of the most perfect period performers at the park! He is the epitome of mid-century middle America and every time I watch him I keep thinking it’s like he stepped right out of “Leave it To Beaver” or a Jimmy Stewart film and into 1955 Disneyland Park. Watching Wesley is a total time warp for me and a great atmospheric addition whenever he’s there.
On certain occasions, Wesley has also been known to sing baritone – such as one day when he was found in that blue-striped role while another bass, Dapper Frank (a returned but still rare to spot longtime Dapper Dan), was in red! Continue reading
“If you want to be happy in a million ways – for the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!”
The Dapper Dans welcome everyone home to Disneyland for Christmas!
While I am a fan of The Dapper Dans of Disneyland all year ‘round, I do enjoy when they get to mix it up a little during the various seasonal celebrations at the park.
Halloween Time with the Dapper Dans is my favorite time of year, but Christmas Time is absolutely delightful, too!
Like Halloween, during the holidays, the Dapper Dans get to bring in a new selection of songs with extended choreography and in this case, props!
The Dapper Dans receive Christmas cards from friends – and sing about it!
And while there are always occasions throughout the year when the Dappers will call for some audience participation, at Christmas Time, there may be no place to hide from being selected to join the fellows to sing (and dance!) to “Mele Kalikimaka” – which is, of course, Hawaii’s way of saying Merry Christmas to you. Don’t say you weren’t warned! Continue reading
“One day we’ll both be reunited…”
Mousertainment Memorandum: Welcome to my 300th post on this site!
I first found out last year that The Cadaver Dans were making some rare daytime excursions to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort.
These fearful fellows are the Halloween Time cohorts of The Dapper Dans of Disneyland (they have cadaverous counterparts at the Walt Disney World Resort, too!).
But in previous years, the main way to see them was to buy a ticket to either Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland or Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Last year, however, I was tipped off that it might behoove me to stop by the Grand Californian on the afternoon of a Halloween Party night. I did so and was delighted to discover that I could catch a set of these nearly-departed denizens performing from a balcony above the hotel lobby.
This year, once again I heard tales of the Cadaver Dans haunting the lobby with their mournful music, so I went to check it out… Continue reading
“Oh, look – a Mickey Mouse pumpkin! Happy Halloween Time is here!”
A couple of Hitchhiking Dans…
The show performed by The Dapper Dans of Disneyland can change with the seasons (or celebrations). But probably my favorite time of year with them is Halloween!
During this festive fall season, the Dapper Dans exchange their multi-colored costumes for orange stripes and their musical repertoire changes as well.
A few favorites from the regular season remain (such as the song about the creepy “Cruella de Vil” and that Haunted Mansion ditty “Grim Grinning Ghosts”), while others are re-vamped (ha!) into slightly spookier versions such as the change of “Coney Island Baby” into “Candy Corny Baby” and “Sidewalks of New York” into a song about trick-or-treating.
Appropriately eerie-themed Disney songs are also incorporated, ranging from tales of “The Headless Horseman” from The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad to “This is Halloween” and “Oogie Boogie’s Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Continue reading
“And he’s doing that for us right now!”
Dapper Drew of the Dapper Dans of Disneyland is another of the multi-color, multiple role Dappers. You can find him some days singing lead in purple and on others singing tenor in yellow and on occasion singing baritone in blue.
And while he is talented in the vocal parts of each role, in the past few months I’ve seen him most often as a tenor and that means in the role of the jokester.
Each Dapper Dan can interpret their role by bringing their own style and personality to it. So a punchline delivered by different performers can be said each time in a different tone.
And Dapper Drew telling jokes is the resident brat! (But adorably so!)
When he delivers the teasing jokes about his fellow Dapper Dans during their repartee, his style is to take gleeful joy in poking fun at the others!
It’s always naughty but never mean-spirited because he has this elfin prankishness that allows you to forgive pretty much anything he says because it’s got such a grin and a wink behind it! He just takes such pride in the mischief and in the bad jokes he gets to tell that you can’t help but laugh (or groan!).
That smile means trouble with a capital T.
But while puckish troublemaker and happy bad pun teller are some of my favorite qualities about a Dapper Drew performance, there is more to him than just the humor. Continue reading
I’ve had the desire for a while to find a place to showcase some of the many videos I’ve taken at the Disney Parks (and elsewhere) over the past few years. So I finally took it upon myself to start the task!
It’s still a work in progress – and will continue to be as long as I film more performances to share. But I’ve loaded about 200 videos so far from the past five years and hope you find some to enjoy!
Here you’ll find clips of many of the performers I’ve spotlighted on my blog.
They include everyone from The Dapper Dans of Disneyland and The Bootstrappers to the 80z All-Stars and TOMASINA, as well as local favorite bands like LIGHTS and performances from Disney Parks shows like Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular and Mickey and the Magical Map! And of course, there are LOTS of videos from The Mad T Party and Diamond Mad T Party!
And while I’ll acknowledge using the unpopular vertical perspective in many cases, there is a practical reason for it – I’m sharing whenever possible an up close view of what’s happening and I found early on that if I take video horizontally, I wind up cutting off most of the performers’ bodies from the video. And since most of the singers who I admire can also dance, you’re missing half the performance without a full view!
I am working on retraining myself to take more horizontal video to post for larger groups or shows, but I hope you’ll enjoy the different vantage points experienced over the past few years. Continue reading
“I’m quittin’ the blues of the world, just singing a song…”
And in another repeat name, today I’m featuring Dapper Steve – the baritone, from The Dapper Dans of Disneyland – not to be confused with Dapper Steven – the baritone who I’ve previously featured!
While they may share a similar name and musical role, this Steve is as unique an entertainer as Steven is and you’ll never confuse the two when you see either of them!
While all of the Dapper Dans are singers and dancers in their roles, I tend to think of Steve as the Theatrical Dapper – with him, everything is a show! It’s all about going big and playing for the rafters (even if the Dapper crowds tend to be closer up!). A performance by Steve is just that – a full-on performance – with emotional highs and lows and anything to enliven other than maybe jazz hands… and I’ve probably just missed him doing that, too, at some point!
Some people are simply meant to be in front of an audience on a stage and Steve is one of them – it’s just his natural home!
Steve at Halloweentime!
And he really is an all around talented guy – not only is he a good singer, but he’s got great comedic timing, knowing exactly when to throw in a quip or zinger to get a laugh. Continue reading