Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure at Covelli Centre

By John Benson


Tara Patterson realized early on she was destined to ice skate. At the age of 2, the British Columbia native was on the rink. It should come as no surprise to learn that performing on skates is her family business of sorts.

“I’m part of the third generation from my family to be involved in an ice show,” said Patterson, calling from Toledo. “My grandparents met in the Ice Capades. My aunts skated in the Ice Capades as well. And my sister and I both skated with Disney on Ice.

“I always knew this was something I wanted to do. When I turned 18 and graduated from high school, I went on the road right away. It was just a dream come true. It’s so great to travel the world, and do something you love and at the same time bring all of your joy to the audience.”

These days the former Disney on Ice performer, who appeared in “Beauty and the Beast and “Princess Classics,” is working behind the scenes.

She’s currently the Performance Director of Disney on Ice’s “Passport to Adventure,” which visits Youngstown’s Covelli Centre Wednesday through Saturday.

Upon closer look at Patterson’s resume, her life story mirrors the empowering stories told in the latest ice production

“Absolutely, whatever you put your mind to you can accomplish,” Patterson said.

That’s invariably the theme behind Disney On Ice’s “Passport to Adventure.”

The story finds Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Daisy taking the audience into popular storylines from “The Lion King,” Peter Pan,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen.”

“It’s great to have all of the classics here like ‘Little Mermaid’ and ‘Peter Pan,’” Patterson said.

“We have an amazing two-story set with an elevator so props and skaters can go up. Some people don’t even wear skates for some of the show. Every time we go into a new story, our theatrical effects can take you into a new world.

“Also, ‘Frozen’ is so big and so popular. I think it was a pretty natural transition to put it onto ice. We’re very fortunate we can bring it to the large stage for everybody.

Going into Disney On Ice: “Passport to Adventure,” Patterson admitted she hadn’t fully experienced the “Frozen” phenomenon. During the first show, there were quite a few surprises.

“I think that was the sing-along we have with Elsa during ‘Let it Go,’” Patterson said.

“As soon as she enters with such a great theatrical entrance, there’s just an amazing buzz in the air. Everyone knows what song is coming next. And then probably 90 percent of the audience will sing along during her performance. It’s amazing.”

For those parents who have dutifully listened thousands of times to the movie anthem on repeat, when will the kids actually let it go?

“I don’t know, I kind of hope it never goes away,” Patterson said. “It’s such a great experience to be a part of that every day. If the buzz does die down, I think we’ll lose a lot of that energy.

“The skaters take away as much energy as the audience puts out. Right now, it’s unmatched with ‘Frozen.’”

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