BWW Reviews: The Littlest Mermaid in Bridgeport
There are supposed to be laws against using TNT in fishing, but The Littlest Mermaid, which is now playing at the Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre is dynamic. The story is a take-off of The Little Mermaid, with the theme of love and the wit of interjecting reality TV and social networking into the plot.
Written, directed and choreographed by Maria Vee, who was so delightful in last year's Beauty and the Beast. Vee also plays Circe, this production's version of the sea witch Ursula. The show takes place under the sea and Cheddar Bay Pier on Cape Cod where lobsterman Bobby (John Stegmeier) meets mermaid Dolphinia ("Fin"), played by Ashley DePascale. The familiar story takes on a different twist as Fin trades her voice to be human and tries to keep her commitment to her sisters, who are hoping to win an American Idol-style competition that will score the trio a recording contract.
That's the strength of the Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre - take a familiar play and make it more contemporary. Add music that today's kids know (think Kidz Bop songs) and the production is edgier (think Sam and Cat). It's what kids see, but Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre can keep it clean yet amusing for their parents. Lesley Neilson-Bowman's costumes are gorgeous, and Leif Smith's scenic design was very clever, from the simple fishing and lobstering dock to the all-out glamour of Circe's lair and the American Idol-type set. Adults get it. Kids like it. Brilliant.
The cast includes Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre veterans Lance Anthony (who does a marvelous Massachusetts accent) in the multiple roles of Jack, Saul T, Sashimi and agent Blake Shelton), Khallid Graham, who is hilarious as John, Gill, Sushi and Usher, Shannon Bolcer as Coraline, Emma LaPlace as Sandy, Jamie Lauren Morano as Cindy Lobsta, as well as John Stegmaier and Ashley DePascale. Anyone who thinks that this is just a group of friends who like to get together to put on a show hasn't been to the Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre. The productions just get better and better.
It's worth a trip with the kids to see a show at the Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre. The shows are under 100 minutes and always have an intermission so that even the most energetic kid (like mine) won't get fussy. The Littlest Mermaid runs through February 16. Tickets are $19-23. Bring your lunch and you'll have a terrific family outing. After the show, your kids can meet the cast in their costumes and get autographs and pictures. For tickets, call 203 576-1636 (option 0) or visit www.dtcab.com.