The only thing I knew about the Little Mermaid was the title and that it was a Disney production. So going in to the Dallas Summer Musicals first show of 2016 my expectations were not that high. Boy was I wrong.
From the water tingling sound effects and stage curtain before the show, right to the end I was impressed, blown away, if you will, by every aspect.
All of the acting and singing were perfectly fabulous. Alison Woods as Ariel and Broadway vet Eric Kunze in the Prince Eric role were marvelous both with their acting and singing. Ariel performed The World Above, Part of Your World and If Only beautifully. Prince Eric was strong, clear and smooth in Her Voice, One Step Closer and all the numbers with the cast. You can definitely feel the romance.
I can't say enough about Tracy Lore as the funny evil Ursula and her henchmen Flotsam, Scott T. Leiendecker and Jeffrey Christopher Todd as Jetsam. There is an under water under world sell your soul to the monster angle. Veteran actors Fred Inkley as King Triton and Time Winters playing Grimsby brought their massive experience to the stage with tip-top performances.
Melvin Abston played Sebastian "the crustacean" to the fullest with well-timed humor and soulful songs. His Under the Sea with the Sea Creatures was sexy and well executed. Kiss the Girl was both powerful and moving. I was pulling for the kiss! Scuttle the sea gull (Jamie Torcellini) mangled words and offered bird humor effectively.
Stage design and props were exquisite, from the roller balls, to the wire suspension, and the actors bobbing made it feel as if you were under water.
The fish humor was funny and darker than expected touching on human pollution of the seas and the brutality of slaughtering marine life.
The Little Mermaid is super fun entertainment for the whole family, but not just for the kids.
Go see it on stage at The Music Hall At Fair Park in Dallas through March 27th and at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth from March 29-April 3.
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
for more features.