Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jodi Benson (Voice of Ariel) in Concert!

As you all know, the Jodi Benson concert was Friday night!  Oh.  My.  Gosh!  It was SO amazing!  I couldn't even believe that we got to see her in concert!  She was so nice and so talented!  I still feel like it was all a dream.  
Jodi Benson and me!  Ahh!  :-)
I wanted to make the night special, so before I even left my house, I put on my pre-planned outfit.  I decided to try my first Disneybound as Kiss the Girl Ariel.  I also had music note earrings, a dinglehopper and shell for my hair, and an Ariel scarf that I bought from the New Fantasyland while Eliot and I were on our honeymoon this past March.  I was pretty pumped.  (I don't think anyone got my Kiss the Girl reference, but I know that I'm just that cool.  That counts for something… right?)
My Kiss the Girl Ariel Disneybound!
The show was a few towns over from us at the Seaside Pavilion.  It was an outdoor covered venue surrounded by white pines.  The weather wasn't so great, but it stopped raining shortly before the show started.  Eliot and I got there a little over an hour before the show started and got center seats 8 rows from the stage, right in front of the sound booth.  I was very impressed with the stadium seating, sound system and the pavilion… but I digress.

At 7:05, Jodi made her way on stage singing "Rain on my Parade" from Broadway's Funny Girl.  She then proceeded to thank the Salvation Army for having her and by letting all of us "Old Orchard Beachians" know that she and her family enjoyed going to the carnival on the beach.

The first half of her show was all Broadway songs, and she told us all great stories in between each song.  I really enjoyed the story about how she sang a song called "Disneyland" in the short run Broadway show Smile and how it was before she got the part of Ariel in The Little Mermaid.  I guess it was fate!
The Set List from the first half of Jodi's Concert.
The other amazing part of the first half, was when she announced that her 12-year old daughter, Delaney, was going to perform for us.  She and her husband had decided that this was a great small venue and a good family show for her kids to have their first stage performances.  I was completely blown away!  Delaney sang Amazing Grace.  Her voice was incredible and she played the song on the piano as well.  It was a remarkable thing to watch.
Jodi's daughter Delaney playing piano and singing.
Jodi finished up her first half with a song from Wicked and then we were treated to a quick 15 minute intermission.  This was the perfect opportunity for our friends to join us since they arrived to the show a few minutes late and we had saved them seats.  Once we were all reunited, we were ready to begin our Disney musical journey!
The Set List from the second half of Jodi's Concert
Jodi came back on stage singing a medley of songs from Beauty and the Beast.  She followed up by telling us about how she and Paige O'Hara (voice of Belle) both were at the final callbacks for the role of Belle.  The night before the callbacks, Paige had called Jodi to tell her that they wanted her to sound like Jodi did.  (We all got a chuckle of Jodi singing Paige's Beauty and the Beast songs trying to sound like herself.)

Next, she sang two Pocahontas songs, Just Around the Riverbend followed by Colors of the Wind.  She then asked all of the kids to come up on stage and my friend Katie and I wanted to go.  Luckily for us, Jodi reminded us that she never specified an age, and that there could be many "kids at heart in" attendance.  So the next thing I know, Katie and I are ON STAGE singing the Circle of Life with Jodi Benson and a ton of other children who didn't even know the words.  Our husbands both got a kick out of it, and there are photos and video footage to prove it!  That was an experience I'll never forget!  The best part was probably when Jodi lifted a small baby boy at the end of the song just like Rafiki with Simba.  Too funny!
Singing on stage with Jodi Benson!  (We're in the middle in back on either side of Jodi's head.)
Jodi then asked her 14-year old son McKinley to join her on stage.  He accompanied her on the piano while she sang When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2.  He played very well and it was a special moment for mother and son.  
Jodi accompanied by her son McKinley on piano.
Jodi showed us a sneak peek video of the making of The Little Mermaid with her in the studio preparing to sing Part of Your World.  It was a short clip from the movie "Waking Sleeping Beauty."
A short clip about Part of Your World from "Waking Sleeping Beauty."
After that, of course Jodi had to sing "her song" which she told us she never gets tired of doing.  It was a truly magical experience to see her perform Part of Your World live.  I could almost picture being in the studio with her when she recorded it so many years ago.  If you closed your eyes, you really thought Ariel was under the sea singing it right in front of you.
A short clip about Part of Your World from "Waking Sleeping Beauty."
She finished the concert by introducing her husband Ray, and showing us a video of their family in the Dominican Republic working for World Vision.  Then they sang The Prayer (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli) to finish the concert.  Our friend BJ also loves Celine Dion.  So when they started to sing, BJ, his wife Katie, and his sister-in-law Jenn all jumped to record it.  

Finally, the Benson Family all took one final bow together.  It was a beautiful way to end the night.  
Jodi, Delaney, Ray and McKinley take a final bow.
But we quickly found out that the night wasn't over yet!  They announced that Jodi would be doing a meet and greet!  Ahh!!!  So we all stood in line for about 30-40 minutes to meet her.  Of course we were a little rushed since there were so many people in line to meet her, but it was well worth the wait!

We got to say hello, get her autograph, and get a few photos with her!  Katie, Jenn and I all wanted individual pictures, so Eliot and BJ made sure to take some.  A BIG thank you to BJ!  Eliot's camera phone pictures didn't come out well!

And then we got a group photo!  It was so amazing.  Jodi loved my Ariel scarf and I told her that I got it at the New Fantasyland while on my honeymoon.  She was so nice!  

BJ, me, Katie, Eliot, Jenn and Jodi Benson!

Overall, it was an unbelievable experience and a night that I won't ever forget!   °o°


  1. Wow i would give anything to see that video of Jodi and Ray singing The Prayer!!

    1. I'll have to see if my friend BJ recorded it! I'm pretty sure he did since he loves Celine Dion! :-)

    2. Do you have the video from her concert ? I'm trying to find it, as the baby she held up was my son. mwsjis2009@gmail.com

    3. We didn't tape the entire thing, only parts of it. 🙁 The only video I have is the video of her singing Part of Your World that can be found on my Facebook page at this link: https://www.facebook.com/MagicallyMelissaJo/videos/737693983600

  2. oh my gosh yes please!!!! :)

  3. Do you happen to have Delaney singing Amazing Grace? If so please let me know!