Friday, July 17, 2015

Review of The Little Mermaid at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Disney's The Little Mermaid. It was directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell. The music director was Roberta Duchak. The book was by Doug Wright and the music was by Alan Menken. The lyrics were by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater. It was about a teenaged female mermaid named Ariel (Rachel Eskenazi-Gold) who was in love with this human prince named Eric (Brandon Springman). It was like a typical teen romance, only cooler because there were fish. I think this is a great show to take your kids to, especially if they are Disney fans. It doesn't really matter how old your kids are, because they will still like it because it is an exciting, cool, and fun play. I really enjoyed it. It was a very welcoming atmosphere and it was a lot of fun. The acting and music were so amazing; I already loved the music already, but these actors made me love it even more. It was a lot like the movie, so basically you can see one of your favorite movies up close and on stage. And if you didn't like the movie, you still might like this because Ariel makes better decisions even though some of them are still under-thought.

I really liked the tap-dancing Seagulls (Matthew Crowle, Este'Fan Kizer, Peter Scharbrough, and Steven Spanopoulos). I wasn't expecting tap dancing in a show about mermaids because mermaids don't have feet! I thought that was pretty funny that they had that and pretty awesome too. The song was called "Positoovity," and it showed the know-it-all aspect of Scuttle (Crowle) because he is like "Show positoovity," and everyone is like, "I'm not sure that's how it is pronounced." And he's like, "I'm pretty sure that's how it is pronounced" and he sings an entire song about it. And that was really funny. The tap-dancing was really fun and silly too. It was one of my favorite parts of the show. I also thought the costumes (by Theresa Ham) that they had were really amazing too. They reminded me of seagulls, but they reminded me of messy seagulls which you sometimes see by the beach not like perfect beautiful seagulls. And I thought that was really right for the characters.

I thought that Ursula (Rebecca Finnegan) was an amazing character. She is my favorite character in the movie because I always like the evil characters who are not perfect and who always have amazing plans and their singing is always really amazing. I think she was even better in the musical than in the movie. I do love the movie, but I think Finnegan's portrayal was so cool and amazing and I have already seen a few of the other shows she's been in, and I loved those too. I felt like this was an amazing part for her and I loved it. I felt like her voice was so great for the songs. You also got to see a version of Ursula that wasn't pure evil; sometimes she would Ferris Bueller it and not break out of character but show you her private personality, the one that is not pure evil. In the asides she changes who Ursula is. Ursula is more like a human being and less like an evil mastermind when she says things like, "I don't know what is wrong with her. Maybe it is teenage hormones."

I felt like "Under the Sea" was a very circusy, cool part of the show. There were people bouncing up and down on bungees and people on lyras. I thought that was so cool. I felt like it was a great big spectacle for one of the most popular songs in the show. I thought Sebastian (Joseph Anthony Byrd) had a great voice and he was really funny too. He had so much energy throughout the show and that brought a lot to the story. I loved his wig (by Melissa Veal) because it looked like a crab was on top of his head. In the movie he says he's a crab but he looks more like a lobster.

Flounder (Matthew Uzarraga) was an amazing singer and maintained his energy throughout the show and I thought he was really great. I thought his wheelies and mohawk were real cool. I thought his crush on Ariel was really funny and sweet. I really liked the song he sang with the mersisters (Missy Aguilar, Allyson Graves, Hannah Rose Nardone, and Erica Stephan) called "She's in Love." It was a very catchy song and the choreography was really fun too. It was kind of like lounge singing with backup girls.

People who would like this show are people who like mohawked fish, tap-dancing seagulls, and amazing evil octopus ladies. I think people should definitely go see this show. It is a lot of fun and I think everyone will love it.

Photos: Liz Lauren

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