by Lorie Lewis Ham
Disney’s The Little Mermaid is currently on stage at the Selma Arts Center through May 26. If you are a fan of the movie, or even if you have never been “Under the Sea”, you shouldn’t miss this production!
I think most people know the basic story of The Little Mermaid. A young mermaid named Ariel (Maria Monreal) has a love for the world outside the ocean and the humans who inhabit it. Her greatest desire is to have legs and visit it someday. She ends up saving the life of a human, Prince Eric (Josh Plowman), and wants more than anything to make him love her–to the point that she makes a horrible deal with the evil Ursula (Camille Gaston) which nearly costs her, her soul. Ariel’s friends include a fish named Flounder (Nirina Rabetsimba), a seagull named Scuttle (Emily Guyette), and a crab named Sebastian (Dakota Simpson) who is trying to keep her out of trouble. Other key characters include her father King Triton (Bryon Debaets), Ursula’s minions Flotsam (Cady Mejias) and Jetsam (Derek Guedea), and Chef Louis (Jeremy Hitch). There are also Ariel’s more obedient and jealous sisters (Kaylene Howard, Alyssa Burgos, Nia Luchau, Alexis Macedo, Jana Price, and Alyssa Lyn Martin), and Eric’s guardian Grimsby (Chris Okerstrom).
This was the first time that I have ever seen the full version of this musical-I saw the Jr. version once a few years ago. There are a lot of new songs that aren’t in the movie, along with all of the favorites we have come to know and love, such as “Under the Sea”, “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, and “Kiss the Girl.”
Maria is sweet and endearing as Ariel, and has a lovely voice. Josh is sufficiently princely as Eric, and also has a very nice voice-this cast is actually filled with lovely voices and talented dancers. The use of puppets for Flotsam and Jetsam was well executed and they were hilarious. Some of my favorite scenes and songs involved Sebastian, who is my favorite character in the movie. Dakota was hilarious in the scene where he’s running from Chef Louis, and Jeremy is a perfect Louis. The costumes were colorful and did a good job of providing the illusion of sea creatures. Camille as Ursula was perfection! Another favorite song was definitely her song, “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” The entire cast did a wonderful job.
The show is delightful and something you can take the whole family to! I took my 3 year old niece Kaelyn and she was mesmerized! The Little Mermaid runs at the Selma Arts Center at 1935 High St. through May 26. Tickets can be purchased online and at the door.
You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section. Also, watch for our new mystery podcast coming soon which will feature the voices of local actors.