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

Scary Good Food Additions to Haunt

The fall season brings in a lot of fun things to do at Worlds of Fun. From heart-pounding mazes with scares at every corner to fog filling in every square inch of the park Worlds of Fun does fall right.
Read More

Six Halloween Haunt Details You Maybe Missed

It can be easy to miss details when you have your eyes clenched shut and head buried in the back of a complete stranger. But have no fear, here are six fun details to check out during your next visit through our enchanted scream park.
Read More

Worlds of Fun Railroad Update

The Worlds of Fun Railroad has been out of commission this season. The sweet sound of choo-chooing around the park has been missed by all. Luckily, that sound will be returning soon - in one form or another. Here's what you need to know...
Read More

Top 5 Tips for Halloween Haunt

You want to get the whole Haunt experience during your visit to Worlds of Fun but you aren’t sure of the best approach. You’ve come to the right place. Here are my top 5 tips for getting the whole Haunt experience.
Read More

Six Scares to Prepare You For Haunt

To get you and your friends ready for the fog-filled midways and our 13 menacing mazes, we’ve conjured up the top six things you need to know before exploring our scream park in 2019.
Read More

The Perfect Fall Side Hustle 

Side hustle, hobby, after-school job, extra cash for the holidays – call it what you will, but a job at Worlds of Fun is the perfect work/play combo.
Read More

It's the Great Pumpkin Fest at Worlds of Fun

The Great Pumpkin Fest at Worlds of Fun is a non-spooky, family-friendly event held during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. Here’s what you need to know to put the “WEEE” in Halloween this year.
Read More

New for 2020 at Worlds of Fun

Get ready for a competitive thrill in 2020 with the all-new Riptide Raceway. The mat racing water attraction will be one of the longest of its kind, with each of its four slides totaling 486 feet long.
Read More

The New 2020 Gold Season Pass

We have another year of endless fun in store for 2020. From the all-new Riptide Raceway to all your family’s favorite rides, slides, shows and events – a world of endless adventure await, and you can enjoy it all by getting unlimited visits with a 2020 Gold Season Pass.
Read More

Grand Carnivale: A Spectacle of Talent Show Guide 2019 

Grand Carnivale features a total of 22 special shows around each of the five countries highlighted.
Read More