Fan-favorite characters take to the ice starting tonight for the first performance of “Disney on Ice: Into the Magic” tour the cast makes a stop in Evansville during its cross-country trek. Evansville Living scored a preview of the epic journey undertaken by Mickey and Minnie Mouse and their friends. Hayden Rhoades, a freshman at Signature School and competitive figure skater, spoke with Marika Steward, a “Disney on Ice” ensemble cast member, about life on the road and staging vibrant shows.
Evansville Living: Which character do you play in the show?
Marika Steward: I play more than one character. I’m part of the ensemble cast. Our job is to bring the story and the whole stage to life. It’s so cool to support the leading roles, and as part of the ensemble, I get to enjoy a lot of interactions with kids in the audience and their families.
EL: Where are you from, and how long have you been skating?
MS: I am from Ontario, Canada, and I’ve been on the ice for 20 years. I started out in ice hockey and then began figure skating.
EL: Does the cast stay the same for the entire “Disney on Ice” tour?
MS: Yes, and we become a big family, spending a lot of time together. We tour for eight months. It’s a large traveling production with 50 skaters and traveling crew members who help build the ice, set up the stage, and help with costumes.
EL: Do you have a favorite performance costume?
MS: I love the costumes! The most vibrant costumes enhance the choreography, and the bold colors from “Coco” really stand out. I’m also dressed as a cupcake in the “Be Our Guest” performance in “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s always fun to become new characters on the ice.
EL: How long do you stay in each city during the tour, and do you have time to explore?
MS: We spend about a week at a time in each city, and the shows run Thursday through Sunday. We have time to explore each city. A group of us enjoyed Honey Moon Coffee Co., and I tried a Pure Barre class in Evansville. I enjoy supporting local businesses and exploring each new city.
“Disney on Ice: Into the Magic” will be performed at the Ford Center, 1 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Feb. 16-19, often with multiple performances each day.