Disney Live! appeals to all types of kids

When it comes to putting together a live show for children, I imagine it’s pretty hard to appeal to all different types of kids, from the rough-and-tumble to the prim-and-proper. But somehow, Disney Junior Live! Pirate and Princess Adventure does just that. Drawing on the television station’s successful slate of programming, it captures kids’ attention, whether they’re into swords or tiaras.

If you go

  • 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. March 7-8
  • Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont
  • disneylive.com

The show is divided pretty equally between the pirates (“Jake and the Neverland Pirates”) and princesses (“Sofia the First”) sections, each tale roughly the length of a typical TV episode and with a brief intermission between them. Mickey and Minnie Mouse oversee the proceedings and help tie the two stories together a bit.

The stories themselves are quite energetic, full of singing and dancing and even a couple of moments of suspense. I liked the multiple attempts to engage the audience in the action, whether by clapping, dancing, or even steering a ship. And long-time Disney fans can look forward to at least two familiar faces from the classic movie canon.

Come early to see the pre-show segment (about 10 minutes before showtime) with Doc McStuffins, who brings along a creative way to help expend at least a little of the kids’ pre-show energy.

As with anything Disney, the biggest struggle is getting through the lobby without signing up for a raffle or buying some official (read: overpriced) merchandise. But I will say that those who purchased Princess Sofia’s amulet for $25 did get a delightful payoff during the show.

In the end, the show did what it was supposed to: keep the kids very entertained. Adults might roll their eyes at the actors’ tendency to play things to the rafters, but the intended audience will find only fun. The three-year-old girl sitting behind me (Hi, Emily!) told me she liked the dancing best, while my two-year-old nephew was more into actually doing the dancing himself. My five-year-old nephew was a bit more enthralled with plot, claiming his favorite part was Captain Hook’s moment of redemption (sure to be temporary, but I’m not telling him that).

The bright spot for me was seeing so many kids, wearing princess dresses or pirates’ bandanas, all enjoying the same show. After all, it doesn’t have to be one or the other, does it?

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