Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale and the adaptation by Disney’s animated film of the same title this robust re-do of the original Broadway musical really works – add it quickly to your holiday to-do’s. The show runs until Dec 31st .
This year’s traditional holiday play offering by the 5th Avenue truly is a gift – superlative worthy in every way – the singing, acting, choreography, set, costumes, lighting, and orchestration are all beautifully packaged up and tied with a great, big, fluorescent, multi-colored bow and delivered in a most energetic, enjoyable evening. Spectacular voices, strong book and lyrics, stunning visuals – outstanding in every single aspect needed to make musical theater work – this a “must see” show – music by Alan Menken, lyrics Howard Ashman and Glen Slater, Book by Doug Wright. Menken and Ashman are also responsible for the music and lyrics for the Broadway hit Little Shop of Horrors and the animated Disney films Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin among many others.
There is so much packed into this nearly two hours of pure entertainment.
“Under the Sea” with the company of the 5th Avenue’s Disney’s Little Mermaid.
Photo by Mark Kitaoka.
All the leads sing beautifully…alone and with others. The talented (returning Seattleite) Diana Huey as Ariel and Matthew Kacergis as Prince Eric make a perfect pair visually and vocally. Ursula (Jennifer Allen), Sebastian (Melvin Abston) King Triton (Steve Blanchard) and Scuttle (Jamie Torcellini) bring their outstanding voices and acting skills to bear and altogether merge into a magic cast! The company actors are equally talented. And, while the music and lyrics are really good the book is really, really great…touching; and, surprise…topical…with laugh out loud humor!
Diane Huey as Ariel in Disney’s Little Mermaid at the 5th Avenue Theater.
Photo by Mark Kitaoka.
The underwater scenes using aereography by Flying by Foy and choreographed by Paul Rubin are so artistic and add a 3D feel as do the scrims and projections. The pop-up book effect of the 2012 set by Bob Crowley is carried over here and contributes to the spectacle that is the scenic design by Kenneth Foy. The other choreography done by John Macinnis is also inventive – the constant undulating movement by the water creatures makes one feel they are actually in water.
The scenes and character bits are clever many having a distinct musical style and sound….the tap dancing birds, the French chef, the Caribbean care-giving crab Sebastian all add richness and Broadway flair…there is a lot of Broadway flair! And, then there is the puppetry, the electric eels on wheels, and the wedding scene that pops!
This excellently directed show (by Glenn Casale, who in 2012 first re-imagined the show after its first Broadway run, and who added the aerial effects and plot revisions) guarantees a memorable night of theater for young and old and everyone in between. If you have that “what to get someone who has everything” problem this gift giving season a pair of tickets to Little Mermaid will solve that. And, if you missed getting tickets to the other usual holiday stand-bys…grab tickets NOW for this show and make up for it with a festive and fun evening perfect for getting all that merry and bright into your life!
After the final performance here the show will be on the road visiting nine cities across the nation each experiencing the 5th Avenue’s wonderful production of The Little Mermaid. And, here is a sneak peek!
Bonus: Bring a pair of new shoes to donate – the 5th Avenue and non-profit Treehouse are collecting new shoes for local foster children. They can be dropped off at the box office or at a performance. You will receive a 25% off coupon for the Secret Garden running April-May.
More fun at the 5th Avenue – The Sound of Music Sing Along January 6-8th. Info and tickets. Great shows coming up for the rest of the season – 3 shows for $99 savings of $177 dollars – check them out and get tickets! It is a great date night – dinner and the theater! So, Broadway…dress up try a new place (restaurant ideas) and enjoy a night on the town! Parking.