Little Mermaid review

Little Mermaid Review - Broadway musical

The first version of the play, with its richness and originality, has not received much support from the audience. In particular, the beholders didn’t like much too heavy, ornamented costumes, making a fantastic marine life creatures look like aliens from outer space. Attempts of American actors to create an innovative play without repeating the animated film has not been met by the viewer with support. Not because the performance was bad. Only because the stage production could not overshadow the famous cartoon.

The audience could not accept artificial ocean, which seemed to them as a piece of plastic. A roller shoes prevented actors to move with that airy ease, which was necessary according to the plot. Too heavy costumes with excessive amounts of jewelry and accessories were not contributing at all to lightness and airiness. It seems that the actors had to strain the memory to recall how to set in motion all these tails, wings and fins. The audience was also not inspired nor with seagulls’ singing, neither with aria of Sea Witch (later, these parts were replaced or reduced).

More successful was the European version of the play by the Dutch company Stage Entertainment, engaged only in musicals showbiz. The company was able to take into account all the criticism of the US version & to make the show a real favorite of the audience. Score has been reworked a little: the song of seagulls Human Stuff was cut, and the song of the Sea Witch, in which she longs for a return to the old days, has been replaced by other, Daddy's Little Girl. European production was focused now not only on the children-spectators. Now the show delighted the adult audience too. For example, shoes with rollers were abolished, by means of which the actors, depicting the inhabitants of the sea’s depths, were simulating swimming in the sea. Few awkward scenes with rollers were replaced with flying. In the European version, the princess Ariel’s little friend, Flounder fish, wasn’t a child, but a young man, hopelessly in love with the little mermaid. Witch Ursula became a copy of her prototype from the cartoon.

Asian production also had a load success. It was not for nothing: excellently designed costumes, fine quality of scene props, acting with love – all this allowed to make an unforgettable show. Composer praised the quality of this play. According to executers of major roles in the musical, the acting was easy and fun, enriching their lives with new facets. A great surprise for the audience was the meeting with Alan Menken, the author of music.
Last Update:April, 06th 2016

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