Friday, November 24, 2017

Disney Live Brings Disneyworld to Charm City

Written by  Frankie Kujawa
North Dakotan is a man of many roles: Christopher L McKenzie, Jr. North Dakotan is a man of many roles: Christopher L McKenzie, Jr.

As the holiday season edges around the corner many families are scrambling for the right present. The gift of time is often overlooked. That’s what makes it the perfect time for Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic, which runs December 8th and 9th at the the Modell Lyric. Performer A.J. Peterson recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud.

“I portray Flynn Rider from the Disney film Tangled. But I’m part of the ensemble of characters, as well,” explained Peterson. “It really is a lot of fun because I get to be inside the mind of a Disney character.” The North Dakota-native began touring with Disney Live! back in 2008 and has been working for the mouse-eared company ever since. “After performing on stage, I eventually became a performance director. Just recently there was an opportunity to jump back on stage and perform, and I’m so glad that I did. It’s fun to hear the reaction of the audience from the stage, and not just as a director. Singing and acting on stage has been so much fun.”

Peterson began performing in high school, and dabbled in a bit of theatre and drama, however dancing was always his strong suit. “I was a music education major at first. I switched majors and received a BFA in dance from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. After that I toured regionally as a dancer/actor and ended up with a six-year run at Walt Disney World in Orlando as an Equity dancer. From there I began working to open Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales.”

Baltimore, having recently hosted Disney on Ice a few weeks ago, is blessed to have the magic of Walt Disney so often in Charm City. “This show is quite different from Disney on Ice, because we obviously aren’t ice skating,” Peterson laughed. “We have a stage show that will have a lot of acting and dancing. A lot of attention is in the storytelling and the lighting and costuming. The real difference is the audience will sit a little closer to the action. We will be singing and acting throughout the show. It has a more intimate feel in how the audience is sitting near the stage.”

Bring the nieces and nephews

Peterson added that this makes a perfect family show because of the interaction from the audience. “It’s great to bring an authentic Disney around the country. We travel to many parts of the country that may not be close to Disneyworld or Disneyland and we can bring Disney to them. People get overcome with joy when they feel the excitement of a Disney Live! show. When they see these characters alive and dancing – it’s just really amazing to see that reaction on the kids’ faces. We really try to get the kids out of their seats and they love it.”

For more info and tickets, visit


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