I saw this Wednesday night Nov 7th and had a blast. The audiences cheered and this will be around for awhile.
The roller-shoes: I would say the shoes are not meant to be a special-effect focal point. The shoes enhance the performer as much as the masks in LION KING when the performer arches forward to allow the mask to lower in front of their face. That’s it .. a movement to enhance slightly.
A ‘wow’ for me was the mermaid costume. They would pose themselves in such a way where the curves looked just right and the illusion of a mermaid becomes realized. Very clever. Again – the mermaid tail on the costume is not a focal point but rather offers a slight playfulness with the costumes so as the real focus of the actor’s talents are not hidden.
Let me offer some comments. First of all, we loved the show. So much happens on stage that I feel in order to really “take-it-all-in” properly, we need to see it again.
The sets and action were non-stop (in contrast to TARZAN where the audience sat and stared at a set that was essentially a “green box” for an hour and a half – urgh.) the LITTLE MERMAID sets and staging was multi-level and varied. The show had gorgeous lighting and had extremely clever use of set pieces that would rise and lower to transform from “under the sea” to above. The transformations were very quick and impressive. The art direction made sense as the costumes and lighting for the “sea” used blues and greens and the “land” scenes were soaked in beautiful sun-set tones of reds and orange hues. The lightening really was a big part of the show. The show has to win a TONY for lightening. It was integral for the show.
The URSULA scenes made me squeal in delight. She is a diva and her persona plays well on stage. She was very strong and her costuming was outstanding. I found myself shaking my head just being overwhelmed with what I was seeing. Her counterparts were very talented – Flotsam and Jetsam. The evil effeminate boys fit right in with URSULA’s evil Diva persona. Tyler Maynard played Flotsam. Any relation to the infamous Cast Member MAYNARD in Disneyland?? Anyway – he came off as an effeminate “club kid” who I could picture at some gay circuit party in Chelsea. (not that it’s a bad thing – just an observation). They did a great job. I would love to see Sherie Rene Scott get a TONY, She was terrific.
The LITTLE MERMAID does feel like a kids show at moments. Sort of like the part in LION KING where Timon and Pumba dance in the forest with Simba for Hakuna Matata. The comedy element is similar with TIMON role in LION KING. The character comedy thing is filled by SCUTTLE. The bird and his pals do some classic style Broadway numbers. Great stuff.
All the leads had great voices and belted the songs. I would say Price Eric (Sean Palmer) has a great voice and played the role very well. The only exception was he could not end his song with a strong “fill the room” note that the other leads managed. Maybe he was just having a bad night. The audience really responded well to Sebastian. Tituss Burgess played the role very well and had excellent stage presence. The Playbill says he was in the LION KING show at Animal Kingdom!!
Super-impressive numbers: “I want the good times back” and “Kiss the girl” really stand out. People cheered through-out – I mean … even during the overture the audience cheered the tunes. When you hear THAT kind of enthusiasm, you KNOW the music is loved and the show did not let us down.
The theater was a bit small for the show. It is a tiny theater and it took some time to get seated. Get there early to be seated. We stood in line for a while. The upside to that was we saw Joey Fatone walk by us (and yes ..I squealed). I felt the show could have benefited from a little bigger stage. One unfortunate thing is this a kids show so guess who shows up?!?!? KIDS !!!!!!! and the entire first act I had to listen to this 9 yr old girls candy wrapper crinkling. I was not happy but blocked it out. And then the mother digs her hands in and starts chomping away. *sigh* … I wanted to scream “This is NOT your living room!” but ignored it and did not let it ruin the night. The tickets are expensive and I don’t appreciate the kid factor when they can’t behave.
We were very impressive on the diversity of the casting. I have never seen a show so well integrated. It was multi-racial and integrated beautifully. The brothers and sisters and father, etc .. all very mixed. Kudos to Disney. It was a nice message and did not feel awkward – loved it!
I am not sure what else to say … I say GO see it. It is worth seeing. Although the show does not feel as ‘adult’ as LION KING, the show’s artistry, staging and talent makes for a fun and memorable evening. Any Disney fan would not be disappointed. Buy your tickets!
On a side note, four days before we saw LITTLE MERMAID, we say Young Frankenstein which was another outstanding show. More adult and less kid oriented but all the same – BUY YOUR TICKETS!!!!