New favorite faces of Disney: 'Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure' a treasured stage ticket

2014-03-06T00:00:00Z New favorite faces of Disney: 'Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure' a treasured stage ticketBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Kausha Campbell, who hails from Lehi, Utah, just finished earning her college degree from Utah Valley University studying dance, with a resume that includes doing competitive cheerleading for four years.

But lately, it's the world of Walt Disney, both new and old, that Campbell has included as part of her latest homework.

She is cast as Sofia the First, Disney's first "little girl princess" and the star of kids' favorite cable channel Disney Junior. A new touring live stage show produced by Feld Entertainment called "Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure," puts the spotlight on the newest character in the Disney Family, Sofia, along with other new and old characters starring in the shows on Disney Junior.

"This is my first tour and it's a new live tour, so we are all learning and having a great time meeting young fans and parents at each show," said Campbell, during a telephone interview last week while playing cities in Florida.

Due to tremendous public response, "Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure" has already extended this month's Rosemont Theatre Chicagoland engagement. A new performance has been added at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 17, for a total of eight performances, for the run March 14 to 17. In addition to Sofia and her friends, other new popular characters from the top performing cable TV series for preschoolers from Disney Junior include story spotlights featuring characters from the smash hit "Jake and the Never Land Pirates." There's also a special interactive "pre-show" for the audience starring the loveable 6-year-old doctor to toys and stuffed animals, Doc McStuffins. Children and their parents will sing "The Check-Up Song" along with Doc as she provides tender love and care. This new 2-hour stage show launched for this 90-city national tour in July 2013.

"The Feld Entertainment mission of providing quality live entertainment experiences that the entire family enjoys starts with Disney Live! because it is often a young fan's first theatrical experience," said producer Alana Feld.

"Children everywhere are falling in love with Sofia and Jake, and we are thrilled to bring these popular Disney Junior characters to the stage for the first time ever."

In this original storyline, Mickey and Minnie lead the audience on an exciting adventure that has families rooting for their favorite pirate Jake and Sofia. Audiences then embark on a journey to the magical world of Enchancia, where Sofia, her step-siblings Amber and James, and the entire kingdom are preparing for the annual friendship festival. Sofia has the honor of delivering the perfect gift to her royal subjects at the celebration, and the one-and-only Cinderella visits the castle to help Sofia in her mission to find just the right present.

"What is so wonderful about these new characters from these popular Disney series is that they also give a nod to favorite classic Walt Disney characters who get to make special appearances like Cinderella, Peter Pan and Captain Hook," Campbell said.

The second half of the live stage show continues when families cast away to Never Land where Jake and his Yo Ho pirate friends Izzy and Cubby are in a race against time to locate a mysterious treasure-filled volcano. Danger, thrills and adventure lurk around every turn when our swashbuckling friends battle Captain Hook for the ultimate prize. Peter Pan makes a special appearance, aiding the team in their heroic quest, and with the help of Tinker Bell's pixie dust, Jake and his crew fly above the stage in their journey.

In 2012, "Doc McStuffins" and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" ranked as cable TV's Top 2 series for all kids ages 2-5, reaching 46.7 million and 36.5 million unique total viewers, respectively, throughout the year. Launching at the top 2013, "Sofia the First" is cable TV's #1 series year to date among Kids 2-5 and Girls 2-5, and is the No. 1 preschool cable TV series in total viewers and women ages 18-49. In fact, the Nov. 18, 2012 premiere of its introductory TV movie, "Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess" became the No. 1 cable TV telecast ever in Kids 2-5, and No. 1 preschool cable TV telecast of all time in Total Viewers (8.2 million) and Women 18-49, with the latter number showcasing the new shows have also captured the hearts of moms.

"Sofia's story is about a little girl who lives in a village with her widowed mom, and finds her life changed forever after the King falls in love with Sofia's mom, and they marry, making Sofia a new princess in need of training," Campbell said.

"A special amulet necklace around her neck allows Sofia to not only talk to animals, but also to call for 'royal help' from some of the most famous of the Disney classic princesses like Cinderella."

Campbell said it took some time to learn about how to navigate the beautiful and very full signature purple ball gown that Sofia wears.

"The dress is very authentic and very heavy," Campbell said.

"When I meet all of the fans in the audience, they always ask about my dress."

Campbell said she's also learned she has to be ready to also answer other 'important' questions from young audience members who are 'Disney experts,' especially about the details of these new shows from cable's Disney Junior.

"I get a lot of children who ask me about the Disney troublemaker in Sofia's life, Cedric the Sorcerer, since he's not in this stage show," Campbell said.

"I also get lots of questions about Clover, the rabbit who is Sofia's favorite pet, who also doesn't appear in this show. When I get asked where he is, I just let everyone know he's away spending time with his woodland friends."

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