The holiday season is upon us and what better way to celebrate with your family than attending Ovation Theatre Company’s presentation of Disney’s Descendants.
Based on the popular Disney Channel original movies, Disney’s Descendants is a new musical jam-packed with comedy, adventure, Disney characters, and hit songs from the films. Imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost – home of the most infamous villains who ever lived – the teenaged children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella De Vil have never ventured off the island…until now. When the four troublemakers are sent to attend prep school alongside the children of beloved Disney heroes, they have a difficult choice to make: should they follow in their parents’ wicked footsteps or learn to be good?
Alycia Leriche (Mal) plays the character who most struggles between evil and good. “She starts off evil and she wants to be like her mother, but as she goes through Auradon, she realizes that she doesn’t want to, but she kind of pushes those feelings aside, trying to make her mom proud. At the end, she must make the final decision and you’ll have to come to the show to find out!” Leriche likes how Disney adapted the three movies into one musical play. “They took all of the songs from the different movies and adapted the lyrics to make sense with this show, which I thought was incredible – how they could use all the works and use (them) in a different way to make the show unique.”
Some of the actors love playing the villains, including Abby Parnell (Jafar), who notes “The difference between playing a good character and an evil character is that you get to step into a role that is a really foreign thing to you. You get to learn how to present yourself as evil and learn how to embrace it and it’s a super fun time!”
Carter Blanco (Doug) plays one of the good guys. “He tries to give everybody a chance.” Of course even some of those opposing evil aren’t always good. Hanna Carroll (Audrey) describes her character as a “mean ex-girlfriend that wants to get rid of the ‘evils.’ It’s very fun, because you get to express yourself more and act mean.”
Youngest cast member Jenisys Oliver-Joseph has really enjoyed her first Ovation experience. “I get to dance and make new friends.” Her favorite number is “Break This Down.” Michaela Horan (Evie) agrees. “It’s just so fun to do and I think that people are going to have a lot of fun watching it.”
With three shows already selling extremely well, Ovation is excited to present Disney’s Descendants. The production is directed by Meg Gore, with music direction from Kevin Fisher and choreography by Miranda Winward. Emma Durand is serving as Assistant to the Director; Debrah Hernandez is Assistant Music Director; Ryan Carrigan is Assistant Choregrapher; and Maddy Buchanan is Production Assistant. The youth cast is drawn from far and wide of the Isle of the Lost: Avenley Allen, Ava Amaro, Alaina Anthony, Ava Bicchieri, Carter Blanco, Connor Burns, Hanna Carroll, Meg Carroll, Lylah Chaffee, Sam Craigie, Mckenna Duffy, Brady Harlow, Michaela Horan, Cooper Jean, Ava Leahy, Lily McKinney, Malia Smith, Marcella Smith and Lizzie Sosa of Londonderry; Audrey Labbe and Alycia Leriche of Derry; Avery Barcelos, Adam Day, Rebecca Eyre, Abby Parnell, Quinn Snyder, Sarah Snyder and Jonathan Uber of Hampstead; Caleigh Fields, Jennah Gunawan, Noel Jerez, Audrey Malynowski and Jenisys Oliver-Joseph of Manchester; Natalie McCormick of Litchfield; Ryan Kaplan of Windham; and Ethan White of Groton, Massachusetts.
Disney’s Descendants will be presented on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 3 at 12 and 6 p.m. at the Adams Memorial Opera House in Derry. The lobby will open an hour before each show. With the Saturday matinee likely attracting the youngest crowd, there will be a meet-and-greet with many of the main characters immediately following the show.
Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and are on sale at OvationTC.com.