The Little Mermaid Review - A Visual Feast Under the Sea

Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s tragic tale of a gentle mermaid who loved too well, THE LITTLE MERMAID has been reborn into a charming and visually delightful musical. From a book by Doug Wright with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, THE LITTLE MERMAID will delight audiences from 6 to 60 (and a wider span is even possible). A hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages, this “fishy” tale contains irresistible songs like “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” If possible, this production is even more magical than the Disney animated film of the same name. After all, Disney relied on a large group of animators, while this musical relies on real-life actors.

Allison Woods, Melvin Abston, and the MERMAID company - Photo by Bruce Bennett, Theare Under the Stars

Who can forget the story of Ariel (Allison Woods), the curious and playful little mermaid who wanted to be human? That wish becomes even more pressing when she casts her eyes on Prince Eric (Eric Kunze), who just happens to be single and on the lookout for a bride. Meanwhile, King Triton (Fred Inkley), her father, wants nothing to do with humans because he believes that they killed his wife. Ariel has a host of followers under the sea, each delightfully unique. She frolics with Sebastian (Melvin Abston), her lobster guardian, and her friendly flounder (Adam Garst).  But all is not without danger under the waves. Ursula (Tracy Lore), the Witch of the Sea, has a bone to pick with King Triton. She believes that he stole the throne from her and plots revenge by offering Ariel legs to walk the earth and snag the young prince. However, Ariel has only three days to gain his love before all is lost and the octopus wins. In exchange, Ariel must give away her beautiful voice. As Ursula remarks, “Squid pro quo.”

Adam Garst and Allison Woods - Photo by Bruce Bennett, Theatre Under the Stars

Talented director Glenn Casale has a keen eye for detail which is evident moment-to-moment in the production. The gentle swaying of the currents is even reflected in the gentle, coordinated sways of each cast member and the flair of flipper-like diaphanous materials as the sea denizens gracefully navigate the waters. Musical director and conductor Colin R. Freedman keeps the many songs flowing. Of course, he has a very talented group of vocalists to work with. Choreographer John MacInnis has developed beautifully timed musical numbers for all of the cast members. Paul Rubin’s flying choreography adds a magical dimension to the proceedings. The special effects are often breathtaking as cast members “swim” and "fly" feet above the stage and eels make their electrifying mark.

Allison Woods, Eric Kunze, Jamie Torcellini, and Melvin Abston - Photo by Bruce Bennett, Theatre Under the Stars

But it is the bursts of color, the flawless shadings, and the multiple scenes under and atop the water that will especially grip the audience. Kenneth Foy’s scenery design, Amy Clark’s and Mark Koss’ costume design, Charlie Morrison’s lighting design, and the talents of the entire production team make this a memorable evening for all. THE LITTLE MERMAID is the perfect production which manages to integrate real life and magic into one with brilliant success. This is a musical which is not to be missed.

Allison Woods - Photo by Bruce Bennett, Theatre Under the Stars

THE LITTLE MERMAID runs through June 26, 2016, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, at 8 p.m. on Fridays, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Contact the theater for information about additional performances and ticket discounts. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is located at 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, CA 90638. Tickets range from $20-$70. For information and reservations, call 562- 944-9801 or 714-994-6310 or go online at

Top of Page
Join Splash Magazines

Feature Article

Tempflow™ and Tempur-Pedic® Reviews - What 35 Hours of Research Uncovered

Want Your Business to Male a Splash
<!-- #wrapper -->