Changes in Epcot’s Candlelight Processional lineup include Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance
Actors Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance have joined the lineup of narrators for Candlelight Processional, the part of Epcot’s holiday offerings. The couple, who have been married since 1997, will read during the performances of Dec. 28-30, according to www.disneyworld.com. Bassett is lending her voice to the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated project, The Princess and the Frog, currently set to be released Dec. 25, 2009.
Bassett and Vance will also be appearing together as a married couple in the upcoming season of ER on NBC.
Their addition at Epcot moves Marlee Matlin earlier in the lineup. She’ll now be at Candlelight Dec. 10-12, which in turn relocates Monique Coleman a few days to Dec. 13-15.
The Candlelight Processional and Massed Choir began in 1958 at Disneyland in California. Thirteen years later, Walt Disney World presented its first Epcot Candlelight Processional in the Magic Kingdom with Rock Hudson as the guest narrator. In 1994, the event was moved to the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot. Thousands of guests continue to share in each of the 100+ performances that are presented throughout the holiday season.
Each evening, nearly 400 performers fill the stage to create this mainstay of Disney’s holiday festivities. The orchestra consists of 51 professional musicians from the central Florida area. The choir members dressed in gold represent high school groups from 30 states. A total of 21,000 amateur vocalists participate in this massed choir during the five weeks of performances. The performers dressed in green (the “tree”) are Walt Disney World cast members from all departments and areas throughout the Company.
The singers in red and black (the base of the “tree”) are the nationally acclaimed Voices of Liberty The centerpiece of the cast is a guest celebrity who narrates the story of the Nativity. Guest narrators over the years have included acclaimed actors, astronauts, vocalists, news commentators, and sports celebrities. The show is approximately 40 minutes long. There will be three daily showings from November 27 through December 30 at 5:00, 6:45 & 8:15 PM.
NOTE: There will be no 5 p.m. performance on December 6, 2009.
2009 Schedule of Narrators*:
Celebrity narrators scheduled to appear include;
November 27 – 29: Isabella Rossellini
November 30 & December 1 – 2: John O’Hurley
December 3 – 5: Steven Curtis Chapman
December 6 – 8: Anika Noni Rose
December 9 – 11: Andy Garcia
December 12 – 14: Vanessa Williams
December 15 – 17: Abigail Breslin
December 18 – 20: Whoopi Goldberg
December 21 – 23: Brian Dennehy
December 24 -26: Edward James Olmos
December 27 – 30: Angela Bassett / Courtney B. Vance