Ever since the 1989 Disney film The Little Mermaid debuted, Ariel and Prince Eric have been household names. Now, at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), under the majestic direction of Glenn Casale, these instantly-recognizable characters are coming to life on the theatrical stage in a beautiful musical by the same name.
And, while the script mostly sticks close to the film, some new parts and pieces are added in for extra fun and elongation of the not-quite 90 minute screenplay. The runtime isn’t the only thing that’s different about the stage version either. New songs and plenty of playful puns have also been added into the mix, and they only serve to offer up more enjoyment.
Full of color, cool effects, and that special Disney magic, this production of the classic tale has all the razzle-dazzle one would expect from a fairytale story. It is also fast-paced and never lagging, which makes it an appropriate show for viewers of all ages…even the younger ones with shorter attention spans.
And, of course, what would a Disney show be without a perfect princess? Indeed, a perfect princess is found in Diana Huey’s representation of Ariel, the little mermaid who dreams of a life “out of these waters.” Huey, with her bubbly voice and sweet face, makes for a perfect Ariel. Of course, her pitch-perfect singing skills, which enable her to nail every song- from the classic to the new- don’t hurt either.
Huey is well-accompanied by the adorable Marco Ramos as Flounder, the guppy with a crush on Ariel; Steve Blanchard as the stern-but-loving King Triton, Ariel’s father; and, of course, Melvin Abston, who often steals the show as Sebastian, a hilarious, heavily-accented crab who has been charged (reluctantly) with being Ariel’s guardian.
While all of these performances are fun and on-point, what would any show be without a suitable villain? Fortunately, Meredith Inglesby nails her role as the evil sea-witch Ursula, complete with her devilish pet eels and trademarked cackle.
In sum, this strong cast, backed by a fabulous production team, pulls off an astoundingly beautiful and pleasurable rendition of this much-loved story.
As with most Disney tales, this one has a magically happy ending that will make audience members cry…and maybe even shed a tear. And, whether you’ve heard the story once or a thousand times, this production is definitely worth seeing with the entire family.
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID at 8 p.m. Oct. 20, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 21, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.
TICKETS: $30 and up, plus taxes and fees. Click here for DPAC Special Offers.
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), email@example.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.
Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1127692.
GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.
THE SHOW: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/the-little-mermaid and https://www.facebook.com/events/1709464075766089/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=4YFKcVxM7ZY.
DPAC NEWS RELEASES: https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/matinee-added-for-disneys-the-little-mermaid and https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/disneys-the-little-mermaid-on-sale-july-29.
DPAC‘S 2017-18 “TEN GREAT YEARS” SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: https://www.dpacnc.com/suntrust-broadway-series-2017-18 and https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/announcing-suntrust-broadway-at-dpac-2017-2018-season.
THE TOUR: http://www.pittsburghclo.org/shows/disneys-the-little-mermaid.
TOUR NEW RELEASE: http://kc.perform.ink/2017/05/starlights-co-produced-little-mermaid-kicks-off-67th-season/.
TOUR STUDY GUIDE: http://www.pittsburghclo.org/flipbooks/THELITTLEMERMAID_ShowContentGuide2017/index.html.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.
NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21st, performance.
The Little Mermaid (Den lille Havfrue) (1837 Danish fairy tale): http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheLittleMermaid_e.html (Jean Hersholt’s English translation from the Hans Christian Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid (Wikipedia).
Hans Christian Andersen (Danish author, 1805-75): http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/liv/index_e.html (Hans Christian Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen (Wikipedia).
Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989 animated film): http://movies.disney.com/the-little-mermaid (official website), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097757/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid_%281989_film%29 (Wikipedia).
Ron Clements (director and screenwriter): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0166256/ (Internet Movie Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Clements (Wikipedia).
John Musker (director and screenwriter): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0615780/ (Internet Broadway Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Musker (Wikipedia).
Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2008 Broadway musical): http://www.mtishows.com/disneys-the-little-mermaid (Music Theatre International page for Revised Regional Version), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-show/the-little-mermaid-456221 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid_musical (Wikipedia).
Alan Menken (music): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/alan-menken-12135 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0579678/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Menken (Wikipedia).
Glenn Slater (lyrics): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/glenn-slater-80644 (Internet Broadway Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Slater (Wikipedia).
Howard Ashman (lyrics): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/howard-ashman-6356 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0039141/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Ashman (Wikipedia).
Doug Wright (book): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/doug-wright-113564 (Internet Broadway Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Wright (Wikipedia).
Pittsburgh CLO (tour producer): http://www.pittsburghclo.org/, https://www.facebook.com/PghCLO, https://twitter.com/pittsburghclo, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_Civic_Light_Opera, and https://www.youtube.com/user/PittsburghCLO.
Kansas City Starlight (tour producer): http://www.kcstarlight.com/, http://www.facebook.com/kcstarlight, http://twitter.com/KCStarlight, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlight_Theatre_(Kansas_City,_Missouri).
Glenn Casale (tour director): http://www.glenncasale.com/index.html (official website), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/glenn-casale-14395 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0142811/ (Internet Movie Database).
Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click https://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.