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Review: THE LITTLE MERMAID at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Review: THE LITTLE MERMAID at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

FInd your voice through August 6.

Dutch Apple's production of The Little Mermaid will be loved by kids, but if you are older than ten, it probably won't be "part of your world".

Grace Atherholt does a fine job as Ariel. Atherholt has a nice voice, yet ironically, she shines most during the second act when she is mostly mute. We know exactly what she is thinking through her expressive face and body language. She is also an impressive "swimmer"!

Braydon Krikke plays a reserved Prince Eric. Krikke's characterization was bland, and his singing voice did not really exude the power or confidence required of such a prominent role.

On the other side of the spectrum, several actors played their characters very broadly. Timothe Bittle (Sebastian), Amy Fenicle (Flounder) and especially Chris Trombetta (Scuttle) spoke, moved and sang in a highly exaggerated manner. While these choices may have appealed to the children in the audience, others may have been turned off by such a superficial approach.

It should be noted that Dutch Apple's recent production of Beauty and the Beast was infinitely more sophisticated and complex. It engaged everybody. Just because a show is based on a cartoon, does not necessarily mean that it needs to be "cartoony".

Costumes were a definite strength of the show. They were bright, dazzling and fun.

Sets were not up to Dutch Apple's usual high standards. Pieces like Triton's throne and Eric's ship were flat and lacked detail. The digital projector was an effective addition for a few of the ocean effects, but mostly the images were more of a distraction, taking focus away from some of the show's iconic numbers.

The five-piece orchestra provided solid accompaniment. I enjoyed tapping my toes to some of the show's classic tunes like "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl". However, the addition of several new songs like "Daddy's Little Angel" and "She's in Love" seemed more like filler and did little to advance the story.

The Little Mermaid is a beloved tale, and this production is a perfectly fine introduction to musical theater strictly for the youngest in the audience. Seeing the show for what it is (and not for what it could be) will make for a more enjoyable experience.




From This Author - Rich Mehrenberg

Rich Mehrenberg was introduced to the magic of theater when he played "The Boy" in his first grade class production of "The Giving Tree". It has been a long term love affair ever... (read more about this author)


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