July 11, 2009

Show Biz (was)

Back when the Space Stage sat under the speedramp to Space Mountain, a fantastic song-and-dance revue called Show Biz Is! played during Disneyland's summer season.

Signing back into the Park after a summer day shift, I would often catch the show. The Space Stage was a terrific venue, and Show Biz Is! was one of the Magic Kingdom's last great live entertainment offerings. As I remember, it was at least a half-hour long. A cast of about twenty performers showcased Hollywood, Broadway, and music in a flurry of costume and set changes.

Jack Wagner announced each cast member as the show ended, and each took a bow with some inventive move. Almost thirty years after, I'm sorry to say that I've lost everyone's name except for Kimber Elston. If you've got a kid who thinks he or she can dance, follow this link and look her up for some lessons.

The other performers were fabulous, too. I can remember the numbers (songs from The Fantasticks, The Pajama Game, Singin' in the Rain, and many more), but their names have disappeared from my mind like the Space Stage from Tomorrowland. Somehow, though, I think that sitting on one of those blue benches as the curtain went up on a show like this would bring them all back. I sure wish that Disneyland would.

4 comments:

Mike said...

Anne,

As always, I enjoy your insight and relieving memories from a time we shared during the Park's past. The lack of "real" entertainment at the park is something we should all mourn. Even the hokey, simple stuff like the fare at the Space Stage is deeply missed.

Keep remembering and keep unpacking that stash of old Disneyland cast member goodies from "back in the day." We loyal TBPJ readers would love you to share more!

---Mike
"Jungle is 101"

DIsney On Parole said...

Anne,
Thank you so much for the memory!
I performed in "Show Biz Is" all 5 years it ran. and the funny thing is I have hardly any photos from that show. :'o(
We really had a Blast! There was one year that had a "Day Cast", Night Cast" Monday - Friday, and a "Weekend Cast"
I still keep in touch with so many of the performers from then...
there was so much Talent!!!! many of them are still performing today!
I'll have to dig out the pics I do have...
Thanks again

Christopher said...

Anne,

One of my favorite memories as a Parades cast member during Summer 83 (Flights of Fantasy/New Fantasyland) was killing time between parade shifts at the Space Stage.

For 4 hours, 5 days a week, several of us sat in the front row, watching "Show Biz Is" until we had all the songs down pat, and much of the choreography... in fact, one day we brought our own white gloves, tambourines, etc, and performed along with the cast (at waist level, as to not disturb any guests behind us)

...well, we did that until the Stage Manager called Security to escort us backstage, and got a two day suspension... but it still remains one of my favorite memories!

-Christopher

Greg Mowry said...

I was in the original cast of Show Biz Is at Disneyland when the show was first conceived. I was one of the singers and dancers in the show and I wore yellow. I had no idea Jack Wagner was the one who announced my name when I took my bow.....funny. I think it was 1981 or 82.....I can't remember. One of the hardest shows I’ve ever done. It was a great experience.

Greg Mowry