Monday, December 03, 2012

Feeling the Season

Our friend John Addis is senior show director for the Disneyland resorts.   Among his many mouse duties is the direction and production of the Candlelight Ceremony at Disneyland during the Christmas season.
As is the nature of Disneyland when they decide it is Christmas time, the entire park becomes a festival of decorations and lights that can only be rivaled in beauty by the original star of Bethlehem.  Their art direction and attention to detail and creativity is unequaled in my opinion.
In the past the Candlelight Ceremony has been a special event, for only a night or two. This year they will present it Thursday through Saturday from now until December 20th. It is a very ambitious program, and the logistics John has to deal with are mind boggling.  It is a combination of several choirs numbering in the hundreds, eight trumpeters on top of the main street buildings, staging, lighting, sound design, soloists, a 24 piece orchestra and a celebrity narrator who reads the traditional Christmas story from the Bible.
A group of us requested tickets to the ceremony this year to add to John's stress level, because that is the kind of friends we are.  We attended the opening of John's incredible work Saturday night.
It was beautiful. The perfect way to start the Christmas season. Surely Santa's North Pole can not look more beautiful than Disneyland decorated for the holidays.  The combination of the spectacle, reverence and tradition of the Christmas story punctuated by Christmas Songs was wonderful.

But not to be out done by the creativity of Disneyland, the Universe staged a lighting effect that only could come from a higher source.

It began to mist with rain during one of the more reverent moments of the show creating an effect  that will not be repeated during the rest of the run.  This is a picture of that moment. Although no photograph can really capture the grandeur of small rain drops illuminated by theatrical lights, even the snapshot is unique.
Later the misty crowd was entertained by a fireworks display which ended in the lighting of Sleeping Beauty's castle. Once again it took my breath away.
John couldn't hang with us because he was still on the Mickey Mouse clock.  We just got a moment to tell him thanks and try to find words that might come close to what we experienced. We will have another chance later in the month when a small group of friends get together and celebrate the season in our own personal tradition.
I guess the human species is really a pack animal. With all the spectacle and technical awe we can create, there is still nothing to compare with the company of friends. Thanks for letting us enjoy your work, John.  And...
 To John, Denny, Tommie, Nanci and Joey... Sandi and I are blessed by your companionship, but it doesn't mean that Joey is out of the barrel for the 23rd.
As you were,

1 comment:

Kenny Croes said...

In 1965, I was a member of the Western High School Christmas Tree Choir. We performed on risers that formed a giant Christmas tree. We were one the the choirs that opened the holiday season at Disneyland. Dick Van Dyke (one of my heroes) was MC that year. One of my fondest memories. An amazing spectacle.