On Sunday we went to the Fox Theatre to catch the final day of Disney’s On the Record. On the Record is set in a recording studio where a greatest hits collection is to be recorded. The songs are performed by the four principals — two young up-and-coming singers and two older established performers — accompanied by four backup singers and an on-stage orchestra. At the beginning of the tour, there was another character, a recording engineer, a recorded voice coming from outside of the studio. It didn’t go over well in the early shows and was dropped.
So there isn’t any spoken dialogue and the story line is as thin as it gets, but I think it it works here, keeping the spotlight on the music. Many of the critics disagreed and their weren’t kind to the show, so we weren’t sure what to expect. Once the show started, however, it was clear this was going to be an enjoyable afternoon.
Now I admit I’m predisposed to like anything that includes the name “Disney”, but I thought the show was great. Many of the songs were arranged into medleys (how else could you fit 64 songs into one show?) and it was interesting to see how well some of the songs worked when mixed together. The singers were all great, especially Ashley Brown as Kristen one of the newcomers. For more info about Ashley, see the Disney Insider story
Unfortunately, the show hasn’t done as well as Disney had hoped. It is closing in July after its engagement in Denver. As reported at Playbill.com:
Disney Theatricals President Thomas Schumacher told Daily Variety, [On the Record] captured the people who love the Disney catalog, but once we got into a market, (business) didn’t expand from there. We don’t get walk-up business. . . .There is no reason to stop [the tour] today. All of these theatres need nine to 12 months to announce a season.” He also added that there is the possibility that the show may play venues overseas. A cast album has been recorded.