BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID at Atwood Concert Hall
Disney's The Little Mermaid comes to Anchorage, playing at the Atwood Concert Hall from October 22nd through October 27th!
The show began with an announcement from the director of the Alaska Center for Performing Arts, giving thanks to the Dena'ina Athabascan people for the land. It was a beautiful and sentimental touch to the opening of such a fantastic performance, something that meant something to myself as well as others in the audience. The overture begins playing, with powerful sounds coming from the impressive pit orchestra. The show opened with our first look under the sea, with Ariel looking out over the ocean, perched upon a rock. The choreography in this performance was centered around various forms of wheeled equipment, from skateboards, to roller skates, to scooters, this touch was fun and made the performance appealing to the eye. The costumes were striking on stage and the set was well built, with various set pieces moving about the stage. Musical performances were even interactive, involving the audience in question and answer.
The most impressive part of the show was Ariel, played by Madeline Ellingson. Ellingson had a clear, beautiful, powerful belt that rang throughout the theatre, giving a new feel to the dainty princess from the classic tale. When asked what the biggest take away from this production would be, Ellingson responded with, "I truly learned so much. From working with the crew, adapting to last minute changes, but, in regards to playing Ariel, just being as honest and organic as possible. Not falling into the trap of playing a character princess." Ellingson's portrayal of the Little Mermaid was raw and real, something incredibly refreshing to see in a cliché storyline.