REVIEW: Kings Island’s Shows

Josh T. Smith and Cassie Levine are cast members in Way Too Much TV

I’m a Disney World freak (I went 4 times in 2009 and have gone over 19 times since 2004) so my standards are high for theme parks, but I am loving Kings Island a lot. I hadn’t been there in over 20 years so when I went a couple Mondays ago I had no idea what to expect other than a ton of roller coasters (which aren’t really my thing). I’m finding a ton to do besides ride all the rides including the shows. I went yesterday, Sunday June 6 and arrived a little after 2 PM. I grabbed a times guide so I could plan my afternoon. It was crowded and I had no intention of trying to ride anything due to the lines . . . but I wanted to get in as many shows as possible. Below are my thoughts and review of each one I was able to catch.

ROCK BAND LIVE! – There are signs everywhere promoting this limited engagement; they should have spent more time getting a proper sound man. As soon as it started, a microphone was hissing as if it needed a new battery pack and you couldn’t hear the performer. They never were able to get the sound mix correct. I found moments of this to be amusing, but it left me disappointed. The singing was just OK. Some of the performers were very funny and energetic. I was just hoping for more. I’m looking forward to Signed, Sealed, Delivered starting in a few weeks. C-

DOWN HOME COUNTRY – I would never claim to be a country music fan but wow, did I enjoy this show. Every one of the performers sounded great and the sound was mixed perfectly. The songs were almost all recognizable to me, which helped, but even if they weren’t the choreography and pace of this 25 minute show was nearly perfect. A

By the way, if you’re one of the 4 or 5 idiots who walks into the Festhaus on the side closest to International Street during this show and decides that its quicker to walk to LaRosa’s by going right in front of the stage during the performance, please go home and stick your head in an oven. Obviously, your brain is only half-cooked.

SNOOPY ROCK! ON ICE – I’m not an ice skating expert, but I believe that some of the tricks and stunts performed by these skaters were incredibly difficult. The featured solo male skater, though, did almost fall twice. I thought the theater was very nice, though a bit warm, which surprised me. I asked my friend Connie who LOVES ice skating and she said that the fact that they could skate so well on that “fake ice” was an amazing feat by itself. (EDIT: I’ve been corrected by some KI folks – the ice is quite real.) So, they earned my respect. The special effects were cool and the integration of common Peanuts themes was superb. I enjoyed this very much. B+

WAY TOO MUCH TV: They started this show with a game of TV trivia hosted by one of the male performers in the show. He asked the guests what their favorite TV show was before having them guess a show’s theme song. I always feel so old (I’m 34, but am a TV junkie) when these young kids don’t know classics like “Family Ties” or “Emergency,” which were two of the favorites mentioned by the contestants. The show got started after 4 “Name that TV Tunes. . . ” Another knockout sound-mix and well paced, well-produced show. The dancing and singing without running out of breath thing always impresses me. I thought it was another really well done show and I’ll definitely be watching it again. A

DON’T STOP THE MUSIC – I had to hurry up to catch this after Way Too Much TV, but I made it just as they were getting started. I thought they picked a good group of songs (though there fewer songs in this show) and I thought the enthusiasm of the performers was great. Their vocals weren’t always perfect, and the mix was a bit off but being that its an outdoor show that’s to be expected. I was a bit annoyed when I could hear bleed over from Rock Band Live during the show, but only in quieter transitional moments. The dancing in this show was high-energy and on truly hot days, these poor performers need a raise. Very good. B+

I enjoyed my day very much and can’t wait to head back probably later this week to get a few rides in and watch people and maybe catch one or two of these shows again. I’m glad I’ve got all season to go as often as I want (time permitting, of course).

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