Drama Queens in Disney - A Theatrical Journey with SOOZE and Friends! Update 5/6
Drama Queen Trip Report Episode Links
(For your reading convenience!)
If you'd like to meet us, please scroll down for Bios and Headshots!
Having Fun Without Us
Home will be where the heart is. Never were words so true.
Together at Last.. Together Forever!
We're Off to see the Wizard
A Whole New (Wizarding) World, A New Fantastic Point of View
I've Got Gadgets and Gizmos Aplenty, I've got Pensieves and House Points Galore
Oh, the Thinks You Can Think if You're Willing to Try
And Tell Yourself... How Lucky You Are
Oh What a Beautiful Moooornin' (minus the food poisoning)
Oh What a Beautiful Day (minus the food poisoning)
Happiness is... Pancakes and Sausage, Mickey Waffles, and Characters
Another Openin'... Another Show
We Go Together Like RamaLamaLama and Magic Kingdom Fun
76 Trombones Led the Big Parade (More Like 76 Grave Diggers)
I'll Just Leave Him a Clue. For Example... A Shoe
Drip Drip Drip Little April Showers (or Catastrophe Canyons)
Food, Glorious, Food!
Be Our Guest at AIE
Let's Go.. Ouuuuuuuoooooot Tonight
Biggest Blame Fool in the Jungle of Nool
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu
Who doesn’t love a bit of drama?! Well definitely not us! If you consider the amount of community theater we have under our belt, you would understand why!! And surely you want to hear about a group of drama queens that decided one day to take a trip to Disney World AND Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. Surely!!
Well today is your lucky day!! I’d like to introduce you to us, the drama queens!
I know, I know… it’s a large group. How are you ever expected to get to know ALL of us?! You’re not afraid to give it a try, are you?!
Let us start with me. And since this is a Drama Queen report, I’ll stick mostly to my drama.
I am Susie, aka Sooze on the DIS. I am a 3rd grade teacher in Indianapolis, but my true passion is in performing… on stage… in front of whoever will watch… singing and dancing and acting!! Not that you want my resume…. But here are some pictures of me ‘in action’ doing some of my favorite roles! Enjoy!
Here I am as Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Mayzie LaBird in Seussical: The Musical:
Glinda in Wizard of Oz:
Lily St. Regis in Annie:
This is another one of Lily St. Regis when she is in disguise as Mrs. Mudge:
And one more of Lily (just because I LOVED those shoes!):
I also enjoyed performing in the color guard activity. Here I am in an alumni corps that performed at the Drum Corps Championships a few summers ago. It was great acting like a 20-something again!!
Ok, enough of me. I do have a family and great friends to introduce you to as well! I have a daughter named Shaelyn, who just turned 6 on Valentine’s Day. I have a son named Tyson who is 11 and a half. They have both been blessed with some talent, and have been able to perform as well! Tyson is an old pro, while Shae just auditioned for her first show this past weekend. Pictures of my babies to come in a second!
My husband, Matt, was not with us on this trip. #1, he is a band director in Indiana, and Fall Break means practicing! He couldn’t get away from the band long enough to join us. #2, he is NOT a drama queen!!!! He would’ve been embarrassed by all of our dramatic antics… so he was happy to sit this trip out anyway!
So, what drama queens were with me?! Well, I shall start with one of my best friends in the cosmos… Bryan. We met when we did a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie together. We’ve been attached at the soul ever since! Here is my handsome bestie!
And here is his old alter-ego, Trixie Firecracker!
Oh yes… it is going to be THAT kind of trip report. Because when you’re in community theater, you can’t help but become best friends with the most COLORFUL of people. So if you’re a conservative, you probably just want to exit on outta this TR and find something more boring! ;)
Here is a little compilation of the shows Bryan and I have been fortunate enough to perform in together. You’ll notice some dramatic weight loss from show to show. Bryan joined Weight Watchers a little over a year ago, and has made some amazing life-changes. Check it out:
Last spring, we got to perform opposite of each other as Vernon Hines and Gladys Hotchkiss in “The Pajama Game”. We got to play a couple that was constantly fighting and making-up. It was such a fabulous experience!!
And sneaking a smooch backstage:
Here are a few shots of Bryan in action:
In the show “Curtains”. He is on the right with the red bandana and blue shirt:
One of my favorite roles he has ever played, Franz Liebkind in “The Producers”:
And before you go freaking out… my husband is very well-aware of my gay friends. He knows how happy they make me, and he supports my addiction! So no worries, y’all!
More introductions… coming up!
So… who is next?! The wonderful family of theater nuts that also make-up two of my best friends. And their children, who are ridiculously talented AND adorable, are absolute best friends with my children. We are all engulfed in the world of community theater, and we are just one big happy family! Here they are:
Couldn’t you just die from their cuteness!?
Tom, on the left, is a pastor at a church in Indianapolis. He fully supports the theater community by not only working backstage at shows, but performing in them as well. He is one of the Godliest men I know, who leads by his example of love and acceptance. Jessica, the red-head in the middle, is a preschool teacher who has a voice that could melt steel. Such a beautiful person inside and out… and can make me laugh for a week straight. Addison is their daughter, who is also a budding stage-hog (deservedly so!). Kelsen is their handsome son, who, along with my own son, seems awkwardly obsessed with Hobos. We shall get back to this later….
Let me share a little back-story about Jessica. First, we met in a little show called “Seussical: The Musical”. She had just moved back to the Indy area, and was dying to get into a show. She called the director and said, “I just want to be in it… I’ll be a TREE if you want!” So… he made her an orangutan in the Jungle of Nool! Here we are, fresh new friends!
And here is an action shot of both of us. Can you find us?
Shortly after this show, we both audition for Miss Saigon. We are both going for the same role of Ellen, who is the American Wife in the production. As the audition progresses, it becomes very clear that it has come down between the two of us. Now, since you can’t really judge height, let’s just say that I am QUITE a bit taller than her!
So the director puts us on stage and calls in the guy who is most likely going to play the male lead. As he is walking in, Jessica turns to me and says, “It looks like they are either going with the super model or the leprechaun.” WHAT?! Who says that? Only Jessica, because she is hilarious!
Lo and behold, as the handsome male lead walks up on stage, I walk over to him and quickly realize that I’m about 3 inches taller. There is no way they would cast me opposite of him. Jessica sees this, and starts dancing around singing, “The leprechaun wins! The leprechaun wins!” And sure enough, she got the role!! And she was fabulous in it! I ended up doing the ensemble of Miss Saigon, and happened to represent “Miss Chinatown” in The American Dream song. So we had the PERFECT photo opportunity to showcase the ‘super model’ and the ‘leprechaun’.
Check this photo out!
Oh my gosh, one of my favorite pictures. Ever!
Here are a few Jessica shots for you to enjoy.
Portraying a Zombie in “Night of the Living Dead”:
Playing the adorable Sally in “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown”:
Singing her heart out in a cabaret-style review show she just finished:
Playing the Prison Matron in “Hairspray”:
One of her Karate Kid moments behind the scenes of “Miss Saigon”:
A few falls ago, Jessica and I were in the same production of “Annie”. Here we are backstage in our “Hooverville” outfits. (Our sons were thrilled that we were hobos!)
Hobos on the sly:
For the rest of the show, I was Lily St. Regis, and Jessica was Mrs. Pugh. (You know the song… “When you’re through, Mrs. Pugh, comes to take it awaaaaaaay!) Here we are being silly in our crazy costumes:
So what about Tom? I don’t have as many shots of him, but here is one of Tom and Bryan from “Miss Saigon”. They were both soldiers in the show:
Tom, Jessica, Bryan, and I were all in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat together. Here are Tom and Jessica in their garb:
And here is a scene with me. Bryan is in the black beret leaning over my right shoulder, and Tom is on my left with the long, curly, black locks!
Tom, Jessica, and Bryan were in a production of “Oklahoma” together. Here is an adorable backstage picture:
Here is one of my favorite backstage shots from “Miss Saigon” of the four of us (plus another Disney-loving friend of ours!):
Boy… take a look at Tom and Bryan in that picture above. They will NOT look like that in this TR! They have both done such a great job dropping the pounds! Cool!
So what about our adorable children? Well, they are drama queens too! YAY!
Here are Tyson and Kelsen. They were in the Children’s Chorus of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat:
They also got to perform together in a production of “Oliver”:
Kelsen has done lots of other things including Seussical and Wizard of Oz. He is a seasoned pro. And his sister, Addison? Here she is portraying Molly in “Annie”. She was a natural:
And while Shae is just getting her drama queen-ness going, she and Addison have a wonderful time singing and dancing together. Just look at these two angels:
Wow! Have I overwhelmed you yet?!?! That’s a lot of pictures and the trip hasn’t even started yet!
Do you love pictures!? If you do, this TR will be for you. I plan on sharing a lot of pictures and just a few stories. So come along with me, will you!?
I promise, there will be lots of drama! For. Real.
Joining! This sounds like it would be a ton of fun.
:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:
Aw, thanks Danielle! I'm glad I didn't scare EVERYONE away!! Look for the first episode this weekend. I have a busy week ahead of me. Thanks again for subscribing!:hug:
This trip report looks like it's going to be AWESOME! :goodvibes It's so great to read about another drama obsessed family! I absolutely love musical theatre and have just gotten back into it after a looong hiatus. I lost over 100 pounds this past year and after I wasn't as self conscious about getting back on stage I jumped right back in! My oldest son and I participated in a community theatre production of "Oklahoma" in November and I can't wait for the next musical. My husband and younger son want to get involved as well. Anywhooo, sorry for the hijack, I'm just so excited! I love that your family participates as well and I love the close friendships people can make during plays. I love the picture of everyone hamming it up!:lmao:
Hooray! I was hoping I'd snag some fellow Community Theater Lovers! Welcome!! I hope the report will be awesome.. I plan on it being a WHOLE BUNCH of pictures, with just the fun stories in between.
And don't worry about hijacking! I'd LOVE to hear about your experiences. And if you have pictures, feel free to share.
Thanks for joining in!:goodvibes
This Drama Queen trip actually started a day before my family and I even arrived. Tom, Jessica, Bryan, and the blonde kids spent a full week in Orlando, while my kids and I snuck in for the 4 days in the middle! I thought I’d get this report started by sharing a few of the pictures they took without us, even though it pains me to remember that they were able to be there and have fun in our absence.
But I will suck it up enough to show you some fun shots. The day we arrived, our friends were soaking up Epcot. We had planned to meet them there that night after our flight in. Luckily, we are AP holders so running over to Epcot for an hour or two that evening was a cinch to do!
These are the kind of friends I have. Not only were they enjoying Epcot without us, but they ate Mickey bars without us, too. THEN, they had the nerve to take a picture and send it to me while I’m sitting in an airport. Just cruel! But a good way to kick off the report!
Na na na na boo boo!!
They spent time at the dive tank in The Seas and Kelsen was selected to help with the presentation.
Great picture of my besties in England!
Tom and Jessica have been to Disney with their kids a few times before, but the one thing they hadn’t been able to do is meet Mulan. Mulan is Addison’s absolute favorite princess. Well, the planets all aligned that day, as Addy was able to meet her heroine!!
She even scored a kiss!
Bryan was just giddy with excitement about meeting all the characters… uh, yeah… more than the kids were!! He, of course, loves the princesses and was able to meet Belle and the Beast.
Eventually, he will meet a bunch more, including some hilarious escapades with Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu, and Genie… but you’ll just have to stay tuned to hear that story!
A bit of Chip and Dale (from the entrance of Epcot… I know I’m a bit out of order here!)
I can only imagine the cute conversation that sparked this picture:
What were WE doing, while all of this Epcot-joy was occurring? Waiting at the rainy airport in Indy:
Waiting… but extremely happy that we were about to be in the Happiest Place on Earth with our best friends ever!
Aw.. can’t you just feel the love?
Soon, we were on our direct flight to the magic… and we just couldn’t contain our excitement!
(He’s excited…. Really!)
And then…. Then the descent into Orlando started… and the head cold Shae was just getting over reared its ugly head. She was in so much pain…. My poor baby!
Even big brother felt bad for Shae.
As soon as we landed, she was good to go. We headed to the ME station and were SO happy to see that you no longer have to check in at the counter! We were directed right over to the miles of rope-maze goodness, where a cast member just scanned our travel voucher, and before we knew it, we were here!
MUCH BETTER M.E. SYSTEM! YAY!!
Thanking God for a safe flight and for the memories we were about to make!
Up next… we arrive at AKL and the Drama Queens are together at last…or are they?!! Dumb traffic incidents…
After dropping off some folks at Pop Century, we were on our way home to AKL. We own points here through DVC, but we have never stayed, so we were quite looking forward to our first visit home!
I have to say, the lobby alone took my breath away. It is stunning!! I couldn’t believe we were going to be living here for a few days!
Check in at AKL was a breeze, walking to our room was NOT! Holy GIRAFFE, was it far away!!!
But we made it… room 5555! Here are some room shots for you.
It’s all in the details…
Our view, which we were surprised to see! We only booked a standard view, but still had a bit of the savannah:
But here is where the ‘standard’ part comes in… the savannah was to the left… and THIS was to our right:
Ha ha ha ha!! It was totally fine with us, and didn’t bother us a second!
We also had a little towel friend. At the time, we had a pet rat named “May” at home… so this little guy became “May” for the trip.
Shae playing in the mirror. You can tell she is giddy as anything!
We literally dropped our bags, took pictures of the room, cuddled with May, then headed out to Epcot! Here are a few more AKL details on the way out:
Hidden Mickeys in the carpet:
We made it to the bus stop and found a fun game of hopscotch to entertain us for a while:
Saw three of these pass by before an Epcot bus came.
And this began our one and only reason for not liking AKL! Not only do you have to bus EVERYWHERE, but it takes so long to get EVERYWHERE! (Except AK, of course) And tonight was NOT a good start. Not only did we wait a long time for the bus (Made worse by the fact that we were just dying to get there to see our friends!),
but then we hit a traffic issue. Our bus was trying to turn left and we were in a line of about 4 other buses also waiting to turn left. For some reason, the road we were trying to turn left on was blocked by police cars. (Oh no, another Disney bus issue?) At first, we were just waiting patiently, but then we started seeing bus after bus pull out from behind us and go around, clearly finding another way to get where they were going. We just couldn’t understand why our bus driver didn’t do the same? Just pull out of the left turn lane and go straight… there are ten different ways to get to Epcot!
Mommy, what is happening? Why aren’t we moving?
Ugh… would we EVER get there?!
Thanks for letting me know that you had started this!! Can't wait to follow along!popcorn::
Thanks for the note to let me know about your new report. Now I need to go back and read. I am ready to learn all about the Drama Queens and their adventures.
My DH and I are going to Disney in Jan. with his family (a group of 14 13 adults, and a 7mon. old). Any advice you have about planning for a group will be appreciated.
Dropped back in to say I am caught up. Plus there is nothing worse than sitting on a bus when you know Mickey and friends are waiting on you.
I love the AK Lodge pictures.
:woohoo: I am in! (Thanks for the heads-up. I usually just check my subscriptions so I don't always see new TRs from fantastic trip report writers like yourself until they're well underway.) What a fun group of people you've assembled for this trip!
I proposed to Judy while walking to a performance of "The Pajama Game" back in 1988. We had to turn around and fast-walk back to her parents' house so that she could show her mom the ring. I'm not sure that she remembers a whole lot about the play after that.
It seems like you liked AKL except for the transportation. We've had a couple of interminably-long rides (usually involving a bus change at DTD), but have generally had pretty good luck.
Here! Thanks for the heads-up!!
It looks like another fun group to travel with. We just saw Joseph at a community theater near us and we all loved it!
AKL is amazing! One of my dream resorts!! :cloud9:
Oh no! Being stuck on a bus is no fun!
I'm in!!!! And I'm so excited to see another report from you. I love the beginning of this one with all the drama queen stuff. I remember a few years ago on one of our TR's you telling me that you were wanting to get back into the theatre. You really jumped in with both feet and never looked back and I LOVE THAT!!!
AKL...we own points there too. We stayed for our first trip "home" in a 1 bdrm in Kidani village. It was sooooo far away from EVERYTHING. Really bugged us. At least we had our own car so the bus thing wasn't an issue but good golly that sitting there not moving would have driven me NUTS!! :scared1:
Can't wait to read more! popcorn:: :surfweb:
Here and excited!!!!!!
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