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Disney presents: The Little Plot Line

Photo Courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust Press Photos

Photo Courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust Press Photos

Laura Wyatt, Variety Editor

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I had high expectations for Disney’s The Little Mermaid when I walked into the Orpheum Theater on Tuesday evening. The actors did an amazing job of bringing the classic Disney tale to life for audiences of all ages. However, as I watched and laughed at the cheesy fish puns, I noticed some significant holes (or “bubbles,” if you will) in the plot that I couldn’t seem to get over.

Even with the lacking plot, the actors seemed to shine. The cast made the illusion that they were underwater with body rolls and wheeled shoes. If not done properly, it can take away from the performance, but not this time. There were also several occasions of characters suspended from ropes, and they still sang well. Sebastian (Melvin Abston) stole the show with his believable Jamaican accent and perfectly placed humor. Flounder (Adam Garst) was an innocent little fish wanting to be with the little mermaid. Anyone that paints their hair blue and yellow every night has to be committed to their role, and he pulled through. Of course the lead roles of Price Eric (Eric Kunze) and Ariel (Alison Woods) were worth pointing out. Their stage chemistry had me fooled.  The seagulls just bothered me. Squawking and telling Ariel lies about the real world? That’s just rude. “Under the Sea” was exciting, but the “fish” dancing around in morph suits made it a little weird. Other musical numbers went well, but “Les Poissons” seemed so random. I understood the concept, it being that they were having fish for dinner when Ariel was present, but the entire song could’ve been cut down to a few sentences of dialogue. It was okay, but some things were just plain overdone.

While it is a classic, some things just don’t make sense. When Ursula gave Ariel legs, she couldn’t have given her some decent clothes? Why would Prince Eric just take a random stranger that doesn’t talk to his castle? Disney assumes too much coincidence. It just so happened that Eric was taking a stroll on the beach when Ariel shows up on shore. Furthermore, she deserts her family to do it. Without a simple “hey dad, I’m going to be human for a few days,” she takes off after Eric.

As a member of high school band, the first thing I was anxious to hear was the beginning overture from the orchestra. After listening to it for a long time on a recording, I couldn’t wait to hear it live. They didn’t disappoint. The local musicians played the overture, as well as the other songs, fabulously, and added greatly to the theme of the show.

Overall, Mermaid gets one thumb-up from me, The actors do their best in bringing a show with little plot development and nothing that makes logical sense in the “world above” to life. It’s a great experience for lovers of the storyline, but Ariel shouldn’t be trying to change herself so much for a man. Sorry Ariel, but Elsa has you beat on the maturity front.

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Disney presents: The Little Plot Line