Disney fans attending the first day of the D23 Expo will be able to end their day with an unforgettable evening of harmony provided by Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix. The popular vocal quartet is comprised of legendary television, Broadway, and film star Dick Van Dyke and three renowned west coast musicians—Mike Mendyke, Bryan Chadima and Eric Bradley.
The group will appear in concert on Stage 23 at the D23 Expo on Friday, August 19 2011, at 8:15 p.m.
Songs from Van Dyke's varied entertainment career in addition to many well-known Disney hits and timeless pop standards will be performed by Van Dyke and The Vantastix in a show rich in humor, pure entertainment and sing-along favorites. Much of the show's song roster is based on Put On A Happy Face, the group's inaugural a cappella album, which features 14 well-known tunes. The CD will be available for purchase in the D23 Expo Treasure Trove store.
Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix is the result of a chance meeting of Van Dyke and Mendyke at a Malibu coffee shop in September 2000. With the addition of Chadima and Bradley, the group started "just for fun," gathering weekly for pizza and singing around Van Dyke's piano, and soon built up an impressive repertoire of children's songs and standards.
After their first casual performance during the wrap party for Van Dyke's long-running mystery TV series Diagnosis Murder, the group began to get requests to appear at charity events and benefits. They have performed at the City of Hope Hospital; the Beverly Hilton for the Society of Singers Concert honoring Dame Julie Andrews; the Hollywood Bowl as part of an evening of TV theme songs; and at the awarding of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Rose Marie, who appeared with Van Dyke on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
There have also been television appearances at the TV Land Awards, Larry King Live, and a performance of the National Anthem for the NBA Playoffs and more. The group continues to perform at benefits in the greater Los Angeles area.
"Hard work and planning are important if one wants to get ahead in life," Van Dyke says. "More important is leaving one's self open to the twists and turns, the wonderful surprises that life has to offer. If you can't bend with the wind, go with the flow, you're gonna miss some great adventures. These three guys walked into my life from out of nowhere and turned my Golden Years into pure platinum. We always have a great time performing together, and we're looking forward to appearing at the D23 Expo."