The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)

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adamgreer
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The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#1
Posted: 12/2/07 at 12:37am
I am probably going to be in the extreme minority here with this, but here goes...

I thought the show was incredible.

I was VERY wary of the heelies concept going in, but it actually works really well. It certainly was a clever way to stage the swimming without using a lot of wires and things.

The cast is almost uniformly excellent. Sierra Boggess makes a solid Broadway debut. She truly inhabits the character of Ariel, and already seems to have her mannerisms and whatnot down. She has a great voice, and "Part of Your World" was one of the evening's highlights.

There is also the fantastic Titus Burgess, whose voice is just out of this world. I never saw Jersey Boys, so I had no idea what kind of voice he had. What he does with Under the Sea is amazing. I didn't really like his costume though- he kind of looked like Elmo.

Eddie Korbich was a lot of fun as Scuttle, as were the two guys who played the eels. Norm Lewis is underused, but he does get one brief moment where he really gets to use his voice.

The only person in the cast I did not care for was Sean Palmer. He gets a pretty thankless role to begin with, but he did absolutely nothing with it. Looking at his credits, he seems to be more of a dancer (appearing in Fosse, Dream, and Saturday Night Fever). However, Eric does very little dancing, so I am not sure why they went with him. His acting was blah, and his voice wasn't great.

Anyway, as good as Sierra and Titus were (and they were exceptional), the star on the stage this evening was the sensational Sherie Renee Scott, who in a perfect world would win the Best Featured Actress in a Musical Tony this year. She only appears in 6 scenes, but wow....she makes the most of it. She plays Ursula like this faded glamour queen. I felt like she was channeling a bit of Norma Desmond. Whatever it was, it worked. She gets two GREAT numbers that she sells to the rafters (the act 1 closer- Poor Unfortunate Souls and a new song called I Want the Good Times Back).

The costumes are fantastic, especially Ursulas. They did a great job of making her tentacles work. The set was lovely, and very imaginatively done. The way they shifted from the undersea world to land was clever. My only complaint about the set was Ariel's treasure trove. It wasn't so much a cavern as a rock. All she appeared to have collected was some old shoes. I also hope they do something about Ursula's final disappearance. It's not nearly as grand as it could be.

The staging was well-done. The highlights were Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl, the latter of which is very reminscent of Can You Feel the Love Tonight. The show moves along VERY briskly- by 10:25 this evening, I was out on the street.

Audience was really into it, and applauded loudly throughout- every major scene change got a lot of applause. They were very well-behaved- I didn't hear a peep out of any of the children. I want to give kudos to the ushers at the Lunt-Fontanne. The house did not open until 7:47 this evening, because the usher told me they were having problems with the set. However, in spite of that, they still had the house seated VERY quickly, and the show began at 8:07.

The audience was very appreciative throughout, and this source material is clearly very beloved (moreso, I suspect, than any Disney movie besides the Lion King). If tonight's packed house was any indication, they've got a winner on their hands that will run for a long, long time.
Updated On: 12/2/07 at 12:37 AM
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#2
Posted: 12/2/07 at 12:41am
I think you meant wary, not weary. Or were you really weary? :)

Audience was really into it, and applauded loudly throughout- every major scene change got a lot of applause. They were very well-behaved- I didn't hear a peep out of any of the children.

I'm amazed. And impressed!
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#2
Posted: 12/2/07 at 12:44am
"I think you meant wary, not weary. Or were you really weary? :) "

Haha. I fixed it. As WARY as the heelies concept made me, I never lost any sleep over it. re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#3
Posted: 12/2/07 at 1:10am
I am so thrilled that you loved it, adamgreer! Thanks for the review.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#4
Posted: 12/2/07 at 1:16am
Adamgreer...here is my infamous question ha ha...where were your seats? Glad you enjoyed the show. I was supposed to go January 9th but due to some family problems I will be going January 12th instead. Can't Wait!
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#5
Posted: 12/2/07 at 1:18am
Awwwww...sorry I won't see you on 1/9 MousesMagic.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#6
Posted: 12/2/07 at 1:21am
"here is my infamous question ha ha...where were your seats?"

I was in orchestra Row H, Seat H (house right). It was a great seat- I could see very well. Nothing was the least bit obstructed.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#7
Posted: 12/2/07 at 2:14am
I agree with you about Sean Palmer.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#8
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:04am
Thanks for the great review!
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#9
Posted: 12/2/07 at 4:35pm
I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can't really pick fault with it!

The show seems so much more grand than it did in Denver. I think it's the musical arrangements, to be honest. For example, Fathoms Below used to have a short sharp introduction, lessening the impact of the opening. Now the opening seems very powerful, with the entire ship crew singing 'Anchors Away' instead of just the one they used in Denver.

Also, the 'descent into the sea' now sounds much eerier. It sounds a lot more like it does in the movie, with the slow 'ah-ah-ahh' singing, rather than the fast flute music back in Denver.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the review!
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#10
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:00pm
I'm kinda curious to see this, but my only hesitation is that I never really liked the movie. So, I guess my question is, for those of you who have seen it, do you think someone who didn't like the movie could like the show?
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#11
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:22pm
From what I have read/heard, it sounds as if they have made significant changes since Denver, including a huge change to the plot in Act 2.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#12
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:27pm
No, not reeeally. The ending has been rescripted, and is now much longer. In the first few weeks in Denver, Ursula came in, flooded the castle then Ariel threw Ursula's shell, killing her. Towards the end of the run, Ariel picked up the shell and Ursula tried tempting her to give it back by turning Ariel against her father. Eric also made an irrelevant appearance in this scene.

Ursula still does the same now, except she's not as obvious with wanting the shell to save her life. Her death is a lot more dramatic than it was, too.

There aren't any really big changes to be honest. A couple of costumes have been re-designed, and I Want the Good Times Back now features more eels, but nothing really major has changed.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#13
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:28pm
<< I Want the Good Times Back). >>

Man, how I LOVE this song ! Was ONE of the hightlights of the show for me !

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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#14
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:44pm
I have tickets for december 28, but i know that they pushed the official opening date back to january. i'm not going to lose my tickets or anything, am i?
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#15
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:49pm
"<< I Want the Good Times Back). >>

Man, how I LOVE this song ! Was ONE of the hightlights of the show for me !"

I love this song too...can't wait for the cast recording!!!
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#16
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:53pm
I am also anxiously awaiting the cast recording. The song I really can't wait to hear is the Act 2 quartet- "If Only." It's just 4 characters standing onstage (Ariel, Sebastian, Triton, and Eric), singing this gorgeous number. Those voices blend together perfectly, and it's one of the show's most under-stated, but still wonderful moments. It was true perfection, and a great, great song.
Updated On: 12/2/07 at 05:53 PM
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#17
Posted: 12/2/07 at 5:57pm
I totally agree! "If Only" is a gorgeous quartet. Who knew that the majority of the new songs would be so good? (the only bad ones are "Human Stuff" and "Positoovity"...and even those two songs weren't as bad the second time)
Updated On: 12/2/07 at 05:57 PM
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#18
Posted: 12/2/07 at 7:10pm
<< I totally agree! "If Only" is a gorgeous quartet. Who knew that the majority of the new songs would be so good? (the only bad ones are "Human Stuff" and "Positoovity"...and even those two songs weren't as bad the second time)

>>

Totally agree ! "If Only" is soooo good, and "Positoovity" would need to grow on me a bit.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#19
Posted: 12/2/07 at 7:37pm
So they actually show a little more detail in Ursula's demise? In Denver, Ariel broke the shell and then she just disappeared with lots of smoke and red lighting and sound effects.

Like "Look what you've done!!" *red lights, smoke, echoes, BOOM she's gone*
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#20
Posted: 12/2/07 at 7:48pm
No, they don't show any more than that. I wish they would, though, because it could be a really great moment.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#21
Posted: 12/2/07 at 7:51pm
Which Flounder did you see, Cody Hanford or J.J. Singleton? And how was he?
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#22
Posted: 12/2/07 at 7:56pm
I've seen both. I thought JJ was better.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#23
Posted: 12/2/07 at 8:21pm
I saw JJ Singleton, who was just fine. He doesn't really get a lot to do, and this kid was serviceable.
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re: The Little Mermaid tonight (12/1)#24
Posted: 12/2/07 at 8:51pm
WAT- Really? That makes sense. He is considerably more experienced.
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