July 29th, 2007

Ariel Union

The Little Mermaid musical (spoiler free)!

So last night, Beth and I went with my brother and his wife and a friend of ours and her 10-year-old daughter and saw The Little Mermaid Broadway show (currently in tryouts in Denver, where I am), and it is wonderful! Really, it's pretty great. I think I'll organize my thoughts into two lists, but just remember two things:

  1. The pros and cons may seem equal in list form below, but overall the pros greatly outweighed the cons.
  2. The show isn't anywhere near done yet. The Denver premiere isn't event until Aug. 23. Many of the things (especially cons) I mention may change.

Oh, and don't worry, there are NO SPOILERS (assuming you have seen the movie)!


  • While the film is greatly expanded, very little is changed. (The biggest change is Ursala's actions during the second act (Ariel on land). But I won't spoil it). Nothing is changed just for the sake of change. Sierra Boggess even sometimes uses the exact same expressions and gestures used in the movie by Ariel -- but she's not being lazy or uncreative, she's doing it because they still work on stage.
  • Sierra Bogges is Ariel. Really, she nails it. Wow!
  • Everyone is in very fine voice.
  • "Kiss the Girl" is a show stopper.
  • Ariel's sisters are lots of fun in their expanded roles. Their song "She's in Love" is maybe the best of the added songs (but I'd have to see it again to be sure).
  • The tap-dancing Scuttle is a great expansion too.


  • "Under the Sea" is slightly disappointing -- it is not the show stopper it should be.
  • Sebastian's costume is too clownish (although there is a very good reason for the silly hat he wears), and Flounder's costume is too plain.
  • Some of the actors don't quite have the acting down to match the (uniformly good) singing. Norm Lewis (King Triton) is the worst in this.
  • In our performance, something went terribly wrong at the end of the show. The final showdown between Ursula and Ariel & Eric wasn't there! One moment, Triton had just agreed to be Ursula's slave and Ursula is all gloating about having the trident, then she suddenly zips offstage and everyone else starts acting like they won! I suppose that some set piece needed for the final battle wasn't working so it was just skipped, and I'm not mad because I knew it was the third night of previews for the tryout and such things should be expected, but it was still a serious WTF moment.
I could say much more (I could do a whole pros and cons list on the mer costumes), but then I'd be getting into spoiler territory (I assume that some would consider details about how the staging was done to be spoilers). But let me tell you what -- I will answer any questions anyone has in the comments section below, and I will dish spoilers there with abandon.

So remember, spoilers in the comments.
  • Current Music
    "Build God, Then We'll Talk" -- Panic! at the Disco