Skip to Main Content

History of Worlds of Fun's Live Entertainment - Stax of Wax

Worlds of Fun announces important updates regarding the rest of the 2020 Season. Learn More.

Skip to Next Section

Behind Stax of Wax

Chris Foshee

I bless the rains down in Africa - adjacent to Prowler. 

Communications & social media manager at Worlds of Fun - @ChrisFoshee on Twitter

Worlds of Fun has a long history of live entertainment in Kansas City, but no program is more known than “Stax of Wax.” The show entertained millions of park guests from 1985 until 2002 in the Moulin Rouge.

“Stax of Wax” was a musical variety show that primarily featured hits from the 50’s, '60s and ’70s. The catchy tunes, choreographed numbers and audience participation were a recipe for success and made the show a hit.

The Cast from Stax of Wax at Worlds of Fun

The Origins of the Show

The Worlds of Fun live entertainment team packed into a car and hit the road to attend a cast audition outside of Kansas City. Like all road trips, music was listened to and discussions were shared, and this ultimately led to the idea for the show.  

Gary Noble, the director of show productions who started when the park opened in 1973 and Walter Bryant, the show’s musical director, were the creators of the show’s concept, which took place in a mythical high school named Cleaver High, home of the Cleaver Beavers. Worlds of Fun pays homage to Cleaver High during Halloween Haunt inside Zombie High, which shares the same name.

Original Cast members of Stax of Wax at Worlds of Fun

The Hits Kept Coming

“Stax of Wax” got its name from an old disc jockey term, which meant a stack of records, so it was only fitting for the set to feature several replications of hit 45-rpm records. The stairs leading up to the stage lit up like a vintage jukebox. The stage was set.

The first season of “Stax of Wax” was sponsored by Kansas City’s popular music station WHB, then listed at 710 AM on the radio dial. The recorded preshow was originally voiced by legendary WHB DJ Phil Jay and simulated a 50’s and 60’s broadcast with humorous shout outs to the gang at Cleaver High. In later years, the pre-show station became the fictitious WOF.

Singers during Stax of Wax at Worlds of Fun

The first song in the original show was Chuck Berry’s “School Day.” All of the songs were from the birth of rock and roll – the late 50’s and early 60’s. The finale, however, was a medley of Bob Segar’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” and Huey Lewis’s “Heart of Rock and Roll.”

And the Beat Goes On

New arrangements and songs were introduced over the show’s historic 17-year run. The series progressed to include music of the next generation and was eventually renamed “Stax of Trax.” CD’s and 8-track tapes replaced the vinyl on stage, but occasionally, the show’s original style and classic characters would make a return in later shows, such as “Cleaver High Homecoming.”

 

“Stax of Wax” is a staple of live entertainment in Kansas City and at Worlds of Fun, and many of its cast members went on to do big things under the spotlight. To the role the show has played in the history and future of the park – we salute all who’ve made it possible.

Writer's Note: Special thanks to Walter Bryant for providing much of the information for this blog post on the history of "Stax of Wax." 

Related Topics:

Share This

Chris Foshee

I bless the rains down in Africa - adjacent to Prowler. 

Communications & social media manager at Worlds of Fun - @ChrisFoshee on Twitter

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Worlds of Snow: Picture Gallery 

The gates are closed, and while we wait for your favorite Kansas City attractions to return this spring, we figured we’d take this opportunity to showcase the handsomeness of our charming park with a unique look inside a frosty Worlds of Fun.
Read More

Offseason Ride Maintenance 

What goes on at amusement parks when they are closed? You may not think it, but the off-season is a busy time for those lucky enough to work in the industry. From January to April, much of our time is spent preparing for the upcoming season performing offseason ride maintenance.
Read More

The Ultimate Artisan Shopping Experience at WinterFest

Worlds of Fun’s WinterFest is the perfect compilation of all the holiday traditions! With ice skating, pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, festive treats and more lights than you can imagine, there’s no shortage of things to do in the park. One of my favorite things about WinterFest is its artisan shops featuring small businesses from the area.
Read More

Holiday Activities at Worlds of Fun's WinterFest

We are now in the final countdown to Christmas and New Year’s! December has absolutely blown by and now your opportunities to experience Worlds of Fun’s WinterFest is narrowing down. As you finally decide to make holiday plans with your family, it can be stressful trying to get all of your holiday traditions into this one month. Luckily for us, WinterFest makes it easy with over 10 holiday activities to partake in during one visit.
Read More

Worlds of Fun to Partner with Sporting KC and The Victory Project During WinterFest

Worlds of Fun and Sporting KC are teaming up this holiday season with a new charitable partnership. During WinterFest, the Kansas City amusement park is raising awareness and funds in support of The Victory Project, the Major League Soccer club’s foundation.
Read More

What Rides Will Be Open During WinterFest?

In addition to all of the seasonal festivities, the park will also feature up to 30 rides to complete your night of memory making. See which rides are set to be open at this year's WinterFest at Worlds of Fun.
Read More

Delicious 2019 WinterFest Food Additions

While the millions of lights, high-energy shows and festive family activities make this annual celebration stand out, guests also look forward to the special holiday style menu and food offerings throughout the park. Each season, our culinary team shows out with numerous selections of crafted creations that are exclusive to WinterFest.
Read More

The Grandest Holiday Event in Kansas City – WinterFest

If you haven’t experienced Worlds of Fun’s magical wonderland and Kansas City's largest collection of lights and holiday decor, here’s a quick guide to some of the fanciful experience that awaits during WinterFest!
Read More

New Oceans of Fun Slide to Set World Record

Riptide Raceway, a new slide complex coming to Oceans of Fun in 2020, will be the longest mat racing slide in the world.
Read More

Former Games Ambassadors Reunite 

 

There’s no doubt that working at Worlds of Fun is the perfect place to learn job skills, make some extra cash and have fun while doing it. On top of extra spending money, many people also leave Worlds of Fun with a bunch of lifelong friends to stay in touch with. In fact, there is a group of over 300 old Games Associates who stay in touch over Facebook, calling themselves the WOF Games Alumni Association. This group found themselves back behind the games fundraising for a huge reunion party.
Read More