Disney alert!

As I said goodnight to my daughter Lizabeth one evening this week, I thought of how she’d soon be heading off to college. And I remembered one of her favorite sayings, from a Disney movie we saw together nearly a decade ago.

Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind…or forgotten.

It’s a mantra of sorts for the main character, Lilo, who discovers that her family is anything but typical. And that’s okay.

Disney stories are full of themes — like chasing dreams and overcoming adversity — that appeal to folks of all ages. So it’s no surprise that Disney books, movies and toys line the shelves (on a good day) of so many homes.

But there’s a special magic to seeing the “house of mouse” brought to life on stage. If there’s a Disney-lover in your family, mark your calendar now for these live productions of Disney classics, many of which have the added charm of being performed by young actors.

Camp Rising Star and Starlight Community Theatre in Anthem present “Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Kids” at 1pm and 7pm Sat, July 23.

They’re performing at the Safeway Shopping Center in Anthem (3665 W. Anthem Way, Ste 119-B). Tickets are just $5 at the door — making this a fun, affordable escape from the heat.

I used to shop the Outlets at Anthem for bargains on kids clothes when my children were younger.

Folks who hit the Anthem outlets Sat, June 23, between 2:30 and 4pm can enjoy a Disney “Shake it Up!” dance party presented by Radio Disney AM 1580. Dalmatians and dance — I like it.

Fountain Hills Community Theatre’s Youth Theatre presents “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” Aug 26-Sept 11 — and Desert Foothills Theater’s Gecko Teatro presents “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” in May 2012.

If your children love Disney, I don’t need to tell you that seeing the same show twice isn’t a problem.

You’ll have two chances to enjoy “Disney’s Aladdin, Jr.” come October. It’s being performed Oct 13-15 by Musical Theatre of Anthem and Oct 21-30 by Greasepaint Youtheatre in Scottsdale.

Mesa Arts Center presents “Choo-Choo Soul With Genevieve!” — from Disney Junior — for two Oct 8 performances that feature beatbox artist DC and musician Genevieve Goings. Think trains, hip hop, numbers and letters.

Lizabeth and I wanted to see a touring production of “Tarzan” while we were in Cedar City for last year’s Utah Shakespeare Festival, but we just didn’t have time to take everything in.

So I was excited to learn that Arizona Broadway Theatre is presenting the Arizona premiere of “Tarzan The Stage Musical,” based on the Disney film, April 20-May 27, 2012.

I remember seeing the Disney movie “Tarzan” with my three children when they were all 10 & under — and still get misty-eyed when I hear Phil Collins sing “You’ll Be in My Heart.”

Like most families, we can almost mark time by the stream of Disney stories through our lives. Our children are all grown now, but I’m glad we made time — when they were young — to enjoy all those afternoons of theater together.

— Lynn

Coming up: Going Grimm, Girl power!


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