Monday, May 11, 2009

NYC: The Little Mermaid

There's lots to see in a big city, but in London or New York you definitely want to check out the Theater Scene. And in my opinion, you can do no better than Disney's The Little Mermaid on Broadway.

I first saw the show a while back, and the cast was fantastic, with Sierra Boggess as a fabulous Ariel. Sierra truly captured the wonder and innocence of the character, and though she must have performed the show hundreds of times, her performance was fresh and real. However, it seems like Sierra is leaving the show, to be replaced by understudy Chelsea Morgan Stock. Is it possible for someone to compete with Sierra Boggess's performance?

Believe it or not, but the answer is YES. I do not want to do a side by side comparison, because that would not be fair to either. Both perform the role with their own flair, and both capture the spirit of Ariel very well. The performances are both very convincing, and very fresh, and utterly delightful. So... though we wish Sierra all the best, we welcome Chelsea, with all the confidence that she can fill Sierra's... fins!

The rest of the cast has seen some changes as well, but it appears that the Actors must meet with Disney's standards. All of the performances are top notch, although Rogelio Douglas's Sebastion has a fantastic voice and energy, and the blond kid who plays Flounder really holds his own with the rest of the cast.(Sorry, can't find his name)

I haven't seen the movie, but I am assuming the story is much the same. The Broadway show offers several new songs, though, and outstanding sets. To me, a theater show resembles a comic strip. You have one 'panel' in which to set a scene, and place the characters against. All the action happens on one stage, yet Disney is able to show us under the sea, inside a castle, and on the beach and on a ship. Disney does a great job of this, and the Actors rolling along on inline skates give a realistic feal to the speed and flow of swimming sea creatures.

The story itself is timeless. Dad does what he thinks is best for his kids... the youngest rebels... runs away... changes species... and eventually everything works out in the end. Even though Dads get a bum rap in the story, I hope the lesson sinks in that King Triton is only doing what he thinks is best for his daughters, and trying to keep them safe.

Cheers, JOHN :0)