Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue reopens in Fort Wilderness


Disney’s Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is back, showcasing its hoot-and-howl style of entertainment after an absence of more than two years in Fort Wilderness.

The western-themed show’s six cast members stormed into the Pioneer Hall dining room to thunderous applause Thursday for the first Hoop-Dee-Doo since the shutdown began. Walt Disney World pandemic in March 2020.

Much of the production is the same as when the series debuted in 1974, but there were modern references and asides worked on Thursday. Six Bits character Slocum asked the crowd if they were ready for the show, but the applause wasn’t as loud as he expected. He resorted to what modern audiences recognize as a “make some noise” taunt, Hoop-Dee-Doo-style.

“It’s been two years,” he said. “You have to do better than that.”

As production relaunched, the review was revised for content and direction, said Disney Live Entertainment creative director Tom Vazzana.

“You won’t notice. You know, that’s the beauty of looking at the script and making thoughtful choices about the words,” Vazzana said. “It’s the same show, the same heart, the same jokes. It’s all the same, and those same six characters who are comedic archetypes in American theater history are all still there.

These characters – Jim Handy, Flora Long, Johnny Ringo, Claire de Lune, Dolly Drew and Slocum – sing, dance and incorporate audience members into the show. The vibe is high-energy Americana sprinkled liberally with punny daddy banter.

But there are also quiet moments, like when Jim and Flora move to the middle of the dining room for a medley of “Shenandoah” and “Red River Valley,” though even that turns into a frenzied rendition of “This Land Is Your Land”. .” The troupe presents “Clementine” both sad and humorous.

“Another little thing we’ve been working on is in the show, there’s a point we call the dinner entertainment. That’s where people can sing a song. Well, it was always kind of used fun thing,” Vazzana said.

“I decided it should be as important and as artistic and as fun as the rest of the show,” he said. “We chose songs – some of them are Disney songs that resonate with a period and some of them are more established musical theater songs, like famous Broadway shows that are set in that era. “

There is a list of songs that the performers use, so the shows vary at times. A sort of dueling banjo/ukulele act was featured in the first show on Thursday night.

“A lot of you were concerned about the changes,” Slocum’s character said on stage. “Unfortunately we kept the banjo player,” he cracked.

There have been changes with the technology for the show and the set.

“We have a brand new scenic package that is vibrant, colorful and beautiful and pays homage to the American West like we have never done before. We had the opportunity to change all the lighting to bring it up to date. day,” Vazzana said.

“It’s not always the stage show, the choreography and the words, but all the backstage and supporting all the technical stuff to update that took a lot of time, a lot of research,” he said. he declares.

Changes were also subtle to the Hoop-Dee-Doo menu. Ribs and fried chicken are back, and strawberry shortcake always tops off the evening. Visitor feedback played a part, said chef Julie Hrywnak.

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“We saw that mac and cheese was a huge demand. I know before closing he was going to almost every table but it was not on the menu,” Hrywnak said. Now it’s brought to everyone, automatically.

“We took this opportunity to perfect our macaroni and cheese recipe,” she said. “We make a cornbread croutons crust on it and really make it a special Hoop.”

Another novelty on the table is a creamy coleslaw. And there are six optional locally brewed beers.

“We also have our specialty drink, Giddyup. So it’s a mix of vodka, lemonade and our own Tito’s own brewed sweet tea,” Hrywnak said.

At the end of the show, which included a parade around the venue as spectators banged on the washboards, the actors bowed as the crowd roared again.

“I think people want humor. And I think people like musicals, right? And it’s a fun musical,” Vazzana said. “And, you know, we need that. kind of thing right now.”

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