By Paul Lane
Niagara Gazette — Five years after graduating with a dance degree from the University at Buffalo, Nicole Dalton is finally about to fulfill a dream by performing on the Shea’s stage.
And she’s bringing Dr. Doofenshmirtz with her.
Dalton will be in town Nov. 10 for three performances of “Disney’s Phineas and Ferb” The Best Live Tour Ever” at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. The show follows the characters from the Disney Channel cartoon as they literally jump off the screen for a 3D adventure in which they look to make the last day of summer the best ever.
Dalton, a native of Rochester, got her dance degree in 2007 after performing with UB’s Zodiaque Dance Company. She’s in her second year with Feld Entertainment and its Disney production after spending time on cruise ships and as a Walt Disney World performer.
Even with those experiences - she started working on a cruise ship two weeks after graduation - she considers her current gig a career topper so far.
“The show is just so high-energy,” she said during a phone interview from a tour stop in Moline, Ill. “It’s a lot of fun.”
That fun includes all of the show’s main characters - Phineas and his step-brother Ferb, Phineas’ sister Candace and their pet platypus Perry. They’re all involved as Phineas and Ferb try to combine their ideas - they have too many things they want to do on their last day of summer - into a mash-up machine. But the evil Dr. Doofenschmirtz is also lurking around, trying to foin the boys with his most wicked plot yet.
Not familiar with these names? That won’t be a problem, Dalton said.
“You don’t actually have to know the TV series verbatim in order to enjoy and understand the storyline of the show,” she said. “They’re going to get involved. They bring audience members up on stage at the start of act two. The show is very active.”
So, too, is Dalton on Buffalo Bills game days. An avid football fan, Dalton can often be seen in her Bills jersey on Sundays in the fall. She was also seen proudly sporting a C.J. Spiller jersey at a Phoenix restaurant after the tour’s shows there were done the Oct. 14 - just after the Bills left Arizona with a win over the Cardinals.
“Everyone knows, ‘It’s Sunday. It’s Nicole’s day,’ “ said Dalton, who keeps her phone close at hand to check the score should a performance keep her on stage during a game. “They clear out the tour bus so I can watch the game and get my makeup done.”
Much of Dalton’s life during touring season - which lasts nine months - takes place on the bus. She’s also the show’s dance captain, which means she is charged with keeping team members up on their choreography and maintaining the work environment. That environment can get tough after months on the road, performing multiple shows a night in city after city, but Dalton said the grind is worth it.
“It really is a matter of balance. You need to know, regardless of whether you sleep well on the bus, you’ve got a job to do,” she said. “If we see one person having a bad day ... it’s really really up to us to motivate each other. But it’s a lot of fun.”
The tour has proven fun enough for Dalton to consider a third season with “Phineas and Ferb” once this year is over. First, though, will come the Shea’s show, which will be Dalton’s first on stage there and first anywhere in Buffalo since graduation.
“Not only are you required to go see performances at Shea’s (as a UB student), but you want to,” she said. “I never thought that I’d be up there myself with a touring company doing what I used to come there and watch.”
She hopes many people will come watch her and the show, which Dalton promises will have something for everyone.
“There’s so many different styles of dance within the show - Bollywood, disco, country line dance,” she said. “Nothing’s better than seeing not only the kids in the audience, but the grown-ups. They’re all singing along.
“Everyone leaves having had a great time.”IF YOU GO n WHAT: "Disney's Phineas and Ferb: The Best Live Tour Ever" n WHEN: 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Nov. 10; pre-show begins 15 minutes prior to each performance n WHERE: Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St., Buffalo n MORE INFO: Call 847-1410 or visit ticketmaster.com