Disney's "Frozen" will go on as scheduled.
The latest ice spectacular from Palmetto's Feld Entertainment, "Disney on Ice Presents: Frozen" is scheduled to open today in Tampa, and run through the weekend, with a total of seven performances at the Amalie Arena.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, who play their home games at Amalie Arena, are going on to the next round of the playoffs. Not until the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals late Wednesday was it known whether the "Frozen" show could go on as planned, since a win by the Capitals would have sent them to a game with the Lightning on Saturday in Tampa.
Instead, the Lightning will be on the road in New York.
What are you going to see at the new Disney on Ice show?
"This show is very technically advanced," said Mariah Cawkell. "Obviously there are some aspects that they did have to change, but it really tells the story of 'Frozen.' If you loved the film 'Frozen,' you'll love this show. And even if you've never seen the movie, you'll love it."
Cawkell is a 19-year-old skater who's making her Disney debut with "Frozen."
She plays one of the citizens of Arendelle, the setting for "Frozen." She's also part of a short opening show to warm-up the "Frozen" crowd.
The show features Mickey, Minnie and lots of other familiar Disney characters. Cawkell plays Dory, the big blue fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres in "Finding Nemo."
Cawkell said the ice show has been selling out wherever it goes, and kids in the audience pretty much go nuts for all their favorite songs, characters and scenes from the film.
Translating the animated film into a live show on ice took a lot of artistry and a lot of imagination. Much of the scenery from the film is accomplished with projections, and Cawkell said technology helps the ice show capture the magical feel of the movie.
Designers actually had to develop new technology for "Frozen." Samuel Doty, the Parrish-based lighting designer of "Frozen" and many other Feld shows over the past decade, said Feld worked with a Canadian company to perfect a new automated technique that allows spotlights to follow skaters perfectly, no matter which way they turn on the ice. That in turn allowed the designer to create an effect in which snowflakes and other projected images can follow characters around.
Because the show will eventually travel to arenas in other countries that may not have the same kind of technology as American venues, the entire show is self-contained. All the lights, sets, sound equipment and ice travel with the show.
"We could put up this ice show in the middle of a dessert if we had to," Doty said.
The youngsters in the audience may not know that "Frozen" represents a technological leap forward in design, but the love what they see and hear.
"It's amazing to do this kind of work and then sit up in the audience, and watch the kids react," he said. "That's really the best part of my job, too see how the kids react when the lights go down and the music starts."
Details: May 14-17, Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Show times: 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $20-$100. Information: 813-301-2500, amaliearena.com.