Dreams come true: Gina Kapple in Hershey
Unlike the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween, fairy tales aren’t confined to one time of the year. Disney makes that known, and it is bringing its fairy tales to Hershey on November 7 for a three-show day at The Hershey Theatre.
“Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales” will feature Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy taking the audience on a journey of three well-known stories: “Cinderella,” “Snow White” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
The tour has been going on for about seven years, but for Gina Kapple, playing Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” it’s all a new journey.
“I started in July, and I’ve been on the road for about three months,” says Kapple, who was a character at Disney World for three and a half years prior to going on tour, saying she was “friends” with Belle and Snow White. “I went to an audition in Orlando in March with a friend for fun. They called me a couple of months later with the offer to join the tour.
“I wanted to do something different, and my husband was on board. It’s been nonstop since July 18. It’s great and a different experience seeing the fans from a far. We don’t get to talk to them as much."
At Disney World, Kapple would interact with the fans daily up close. She said that she surprisingly misses that part of the job, so she really looks forward to the meet and greets with the fans.Ironically, Kapple was able to land the role of Belle for the travel show, which isn’t only the same character she portrayed in Orlando, Fla., but it was her favorite Disney character growing up.
“She was my favorite. It’s kind of crazy, because I did the play in school in the eighth grade. It’s crazy that I’m doing it on stage and traveling around the United States playing Belle,” Kapple said during a phone interview. “People find it funny when you play Belle and you’re on stage reading a book. I feel like I connect with her a lot more than I would with any other princess.”
Kapple, a native of McAllen, Tx., attended Oklahoma City University where she majored in dance management and minored in business. She’s been dancing since she was two, but she really knew that she wanted to perform on the stage since she was a junior in high school.
“I went and danced for Disney World, and they called me within a week of my audition. I was there for three and a half years there, and I may go back after Disney Live!,” said Kapple. “I did plays in school, so it’s something I always enjoyed. My family enjoys it and loves to watch, too. My family will be able to see the show on Christmas Eve, which will be really special.”
As a southerner, Kapple has actually visited Hershey once before, but she’s hoping to be able to check out all of the attractions this time around.
“I actually have visited Hershey once before. I did a summer camp with Penn State my sophomore year of high school, and we got to travel around that area,” said Kapple. “I’m really excited to check it all out. It was wonderful. We’re hoping we get to check everything out when we are there.”
Kapple expects a good crowd in Hershey, but it may not live up to the “best audience ever,” which was located in Savannah, Ga., of all places.
“I really like Savannah. I had never been to Georgia before the show we did there. That was one of the best audiences we’ve had. We compared every show to that one,” Kapple admitted. “We just really enjoyed that city. We travel all over the place. It’s exciting seeing cities that you don’t ever imagine you’ll go to.”
Kapple said that the 90-minute show will be enjoyed by the whole family, and they should expect to see some great costumes on stage.
“Everyone seems to love it; the costumes especially. Belle’s dress is gorgeous,” Kapple said. “I don’t think I’ve ever worn a dress like that as a character.”
The entire show is interactive, and Kapple and her “Beauty and the Beast” crew get to close it down at the end of each performance, as the last act.
“I enjoy wrapping the show up, because everyone kind of connects with our story. It’s all just very interactive. For example, Snow White asks if she should eat the apple and plays off the crowd,” Kapple said. “This is just interactive fun for the whole family. Everyone from the performers and guests alike will see that dreams really do come true.”
Contact Michael Waterloo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter, @MWaterloo_LDN