Timeless Disney ‘magic’ on ice
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With a treasury of those well-known, timeless stories and characters, along with some of the newer tales that have joined the Disney hit parade, “100 Years of Magic” continues to have multi-generational appeal. ”We’ve got a lot packed into just under two hours,” said Obst, who keeps everything moving along. “This is one of our largest shows.”
It’s a fast-paced spectacle, with segments changing every six or seven minutes or so. It all adds up to a lot of “wows,” according to Obst, who is in the audience monitoring the action on the ice during each performance. “I love hearing what everyone in the audience has to say,” Obst said, “from the grandparents explaining who Pinocchio is to the younger kids telling their grandparents about some of the newer characters, like The Incredibles.”
Obst, who joined Feld Entertainment since 1995, has been involved with the production for 11 years. He knows the show well. “Everything the audience sees and feels I’m in charge of,” he said. “I sit in the seats with the audience so I can make sure each show has artistic integrity for our audiences.”
Obst is charged with overseeing the skaters, the technical aspects, lighting, sound, and staging. “Our show is an exciting blend of artistry and athleticism,” Obst said. And he keeps a careful eye on it all.
The 44-year-old Saskatchewa, Canada native grew up playing hockey and then switched to figure skating as a teenager. He found he preferred performing more than goal-scoring and skated competitively in Canada, eventually joining the Ice Capades and then Disney on Ice. Now, he has what describes as his “dream job.” “It keeps me young,” Obst said.
Obst puts the cast of 47 skaters from 10 countries through their paces at extensive practices, which includes a weekly three-hour rehearsal to address any adjustments that need to be made. “I love having all that talent to work with,” he said.