The Little Mermaid: family entertainment fine for the younger tots.

Reviewed by Iris Winston

Ariel & Ursula

Photo by Suzart productions.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, the Walt Disney animated musical movie version of The Little Mermaid was moderately successful when it was screened in 1989. Some 18 years later, the stage musical of the Disney movie appeared to mixed reviews and a relatively short run on Broadway.

The show, while entirely appropriate for the Suzart Productions’ mandate of family entertainment, is weak in this incarnation. As presented by Suzart, under the direction of Dani Bone Corbishley, The Little Mermaid has a pantomime sensibility — primarily because Kraig-Paul Proulx, delivers the wicked witch Ursula in the style of a panto dame. This leaves room for an appropriate contrast with the mermaid princess, Ariel, (Sharena Campo) and her human prince, Eric (Richard Hardy) — both fine singers.

Simply put, Hans Christian Andersen told the story of the mermaid, who dreams of being human and marrying the prince she saved from drowning, more effectively than the stage version of an animated movie does.

But the Suzart show has its moments. As always, the warmth and joy of performance among the group comes through. And this ambience makes it possible to forgive some of the lack of discipline in movement and vocal quality in the chorus. The costumes are imaginative and the principals sing well, but the static nature of the production and the weak and off-key singing of some individuals are a continuing problem.

The Little Mermaid continues at the Centrepointe Theatre Studio to December 11.

Book by Doug Wright

Music by Alan Menken

Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater . Directed by Dani Bone Corbishley

Suzart Productions

Directors: Sue Fowler Dacey and Dani Bone-Corbishley

Choreographer: Anna Seguin

Musical Director: Laura Dziubaniuk

Set and technical direction : Elaine McCausland

Lighting: Rob Puchyr and Shona Woodland-Srinivasan

Costumes: Maureen Russell, Tracy Byers Reid and Marion Parry

Cast:

Ariel………………………….Sharena Campo

Prince Eric……………………Richard Hardy

Sebastian……………………..Marc Séguin

Flounder………………………Emilea Kavanagh

Ursula…………………………Kraig-Paul Proulx

Princesses.Mersisters………….Shayna Douglas, Anemone Fritzen,

Christina Roman, Mary Sibbald, Cynthia

Wood, Emma Woodside

Chef Louis…………………….Nadia Beaupré

Scuttle…………………………Wendi Smith

Flotsam………………………..Ryan Pedersen

Jetsam…………………………Ayla Zimmerly

Grimsby……………………….Fenton Ho

Pages………………………….Zander Bone, Griffin Brown

Windward…………………….Katie Woodland-Tennuci

Leeward………………………Camryn Livesey

Chorus: Kadence Bennett, Sarah Benfield, Vivian Buechman, Bryn Buechman, Rebecca Creasey, Evie Cohen, Reagan Crotty, Maddie Fulford, Liam Gossom, Tessa Jacobs-Sanchez, Sybil Lubin, Anna McCready, Fiona McCready, Laura-Jane Nikolakakos, Sophia Nikolakakos, Natalie Reid, Emily Séguin, Katie Shepherd, Ranjith Singaravelu, Bethany Tee, Terry Thompson, Lizziee Warland, Ella Zeglinski-Spinney


Past Reviews