Disney 100: The Concert || Nostalgic and Wondrous in the most magical way

The Gold Coast was treated to a truly magical night at MM Creative Productions opening night of Disney 100: The Concert. The production was spectacular as it celebrated 100 years of Disney wonder at HOTA’s Outdoor Stage performed by the shining stars of the Australian musical theatre scene.

The remarkable cast of performers was accompanied by the magnificent Queensland Pops Orchestra and conducted by the magnetic Jessica Gethin. They led the passionate Sunshine State audience of Disney enthusiasts on a journey through the last 100 years of enchanting, animated films with the soaring scores that dominated the soundtrack of children’s lives for the last ten decades.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Disney 100: The Concert at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday, 23 February, 2023

The show begun with the new 100th anniversary film opening on the screens and orchestra began playing the most beautiful rendition of the ‘Disney Memories Overture’ that encapsulated a variety of classic films whilst they showed their highlights on either side of the stage. The conductor Jessica and the stunning instrumentalists additionally breathed fire into one of the most iconic moments in Disney history, during Sleeping Beauty’s ‘Battle with the forces of evil’ as Maleficent puts up a fight.  

The sensation cast consisted of Australian musical theatre powerhouses Amy Manford and Genevieve McCarthy, who founded the female-led MM Creative Productions shone so brightly as performers in the show. 

Photo by Jarrad Seng

Amy Manford dove into the wonder of The Little Mermaid with a stunning rendition of Ariel’s nostalgic ‘I want’ song, ‘Part of your world.’ Her gorgeous operatic voice told the audience the story of the naïve but brave mermaid when she gave up her voice for legs. Amy’s had the most wonderous stage presence as she performed the Cinderella classic ‘So this is love’ and Disney Pinocchio’s iconic dream melody ‘When you wish upon a star.’

Photo by Jarrad Seng

Genevieve McCarthy, the other half of MM Creative Productions brought a sparkling essence to Disney’s newest iconic female leading characters. She was joyous and playful as Rapunzel with the ‘I want’ song ‘When will my life begin’ from the 2010 animated feature, Tangled, coupled with her inspiring rendition of island warrior princess Moana’s heroic anthem ‘How far I’ll go.’ Genevieve also then ventured into Arendelle as she embodied Queen Elsa and sung ‘Let it go’ with her fellow co-leading ladies in addition to ending the night with a wonderous firework display as she belted out Frozen 2’s hit song ‘Into the Unknown.’

Photo by Jarrad Seng

Lyndon Watts who starred in blockbuster’s Disney’s Aladdin the Musical and smash-hit Hamilton made a ravishing impression on the thrilled Gold Coast audience. Lyndon embodied the wickedness and sultriness of the iconic evil seawitch, Ursula with the powerful tune ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ complete with a magenta feather boa to solidify Ursula’s feisty style. Lyndon additionally kept the Disney lovers inspired with the emotional The Lion King opening of ‘The Circle of Life’ joined by the whole cast of performers to give it those rich undertones and nostalgic feelings. Speaking of 90s Disney emotions, the title number of the much-loved film ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was gorgeously sung by Lyndon and Chloe Zuel as a delightful duet. As the musical theatre star’s moment in the spotlight the soaring gladiatorial number ‘Go the Distance’ from Hercules was performed with excellence and so much heart, it was phenomenal to witness.

Drew Weston, established musical theatre superstar showcased his incredible talent as the most joyous Disney leading man. A highlight was his captivating performance of ‘I’ll make a man out of you’ from the warrior popular film, Mulan.
Drew then joined forces with the lovable Mark Hill and enjoyed the ‘Bare Necessities’ of life as they climbed back into our hearts with, The Jungle Book favourite with some fun brotherly dance moves to match. The duos kept on rolling with a tribute to The Lion King with a stunning performance of ‘Can you feel the love tonight.’

Photo by Jarrad Seng

Chloe Zuel, Star of Hamilton, Legally Blonde and Les Miserables to name a few, floated on to the stage and delightfully performed her favourite childhood animation anthem ‘Just around the Riverbend’ from the 1995 film Pocahontas. Chloe was a mesmerising presence onstage particularly as they kept with the misunderstood female lead and she embodied Mulan with the iconic song made famous by Lea Salonga, ‘Reflections.’ The gifted stage performer also joined her fellow cast mates in a performance from the newest Disney Studio’s animation ‘Encanto’, where she beautifully took on the role of the quirky and fun-loving, Mirabel in the global viral hit ‘We don’t talk about Bruno.’

Photo by Jarrad Seng

Mark Hill was the passionate comic relief of the concert as he truly entertained the audience with the gorgeous repertoire of talents he possesses. The stand-out moment was his portrayal of the Genie in Aladdin as he performed ‘Friend like me’ in the most joyous, animated fashion all complete with a crowd-pleasing tap number to bring the house down. Mark is part of a fabulous group called ‘The Tap Pack’ and he certainly displayed his fabulous tap abilities in that fan-favourite song. Mark was so fun-loving in The Lion King’s ‘I just can’t wait to be King’ as he wowed the crowd with his vivacious and youthful presence.

Photo by Jarrad Seng

The Disney 100 Concert was a spectacle like no other and MM Creative Productions truly put on a non-stop Disney fan night of wonder for all ages, the young and the young at heart to celebrate 100 years of the Walt Disney Company. The cast were dressed to the nines and made the Gold Coast audience feel like we were at the Hollywood Bowl being treated to a best of Disney compilation with their stunning performances and sensational Queensland Pops Orchestra. They pulled out all the stops with the outdoor stage at HOTA, bubbles as you entered, food trucks, original film footage to match the Disney songs being performed and fireworks during Frozen 2’s ‘Into the unknown’ to end a magical night.


Photo by Jarrad Seng


All images supplied and credit to Jarrad Seng and Stef King.