BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2

BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2

Any time you hear the word "Disney," you know you can expect something magical about to happen. Oh yes, it is happening now at the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak, where DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID musical is now on stage. This show is spectacular, with brilliant costumes, lively music, and a tale of relatable family dynamics. Stagecrafters never fails to deliver a first-class performance; this show will rock your soul and warm your heart.

The stage musical, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and book by Doug Wright, which ran on Broadway, is an adaptation of the venerable film studio's beloved animated feature about a mermaid princess who falls in love with a human. With expanded characters and story, the stage version offers the artists an opportunity to evolve the look and feel of the iconic film.

This show includes "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl," plus several new ones written specifically for the stage version. The music director (Randall Wrisinger of Royal Oak) and choreographers (Molly Zaleski of Royal Oak and John Luther of Farmington) are masters of their trades; you can always bet that anything they touch will turn to gold. MERMAID is alive with joy and celebration of love.

This story takes place both on land and under the sea. The stage reverts from one to the other seamlessly, while some actors float around, as if swimming in water. The costumes are a shoe-in for regional awards; they are bright and bold, with original designs. Buddy VanLoon of Oak Park and Michael Ameloot of Detroit have raised the bar creating these wonderful outfits.

Matthew Miga of Ferndale, director, said "What I love about the stage musical is the depth of characterization that the Disney production team put into the book of the musical. They took essentially all two-dimensional characters and added layers of depth to them. It's fascinating to see the changes between the musical and the movie. I do think Disney did well to make these characters have more pathos. Even the new backstory of the villain, Ursula, makes you feel a bit sad for her character."

Ariel (Kryssy Becker of Commerce Township) is stunningly beautiful in this musical, she has the perfect voice for the part. She delivers a stellar performance. Her father Triton, King of the Sea (Patrick Kilbourn of Berkley) steals the stage with this large, magnificent presence. Sebastian (Dez Walker of Royal Oak) is hilarious as the comic crustacean. I love the part when he lies beneath the table, glowing from the praise he is receiving; albeit not understanding what the praise is all about. Prince Eric (Zachary Coates of Detroit) is a real hunk that any princess would easily fall in love with. Toward the beginning of the show, we have a rare chance to hear the rich voice of Patrick Wehner, as he navigates across the wide open seas

Based on a fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1837, the Disney feature film was released in the United States in 1989. The film won two Oscars: Best Music (Original Song) went to Alan Menkin (music) and Howard Ashman (lyrics) for "Under the Sea" and Best Music (Original Score) went to Alan Menken. The stage iteration opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Jan. 10, 2008 and ran for 685 performances to close Aug. 30, 2009.

Show tickets are $23 on Thursdays, $25 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets may be purchased online at www.stagecrafters.org (online handling fees apply) or by phone at 248-541-6430 using Visa or MasterCard. All seats are reserved and there are no refunds or exchanges on individual tickets. If shows have not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour prior to the performance. Student, military and senior discounts are available for specific performances. The Baldwin Theatre is located at 415 S. Lafayette in downtown Royal Oak.

Catch the next performances

September 22 at 8 pm

September 23 at 8 pm

September 24 at 2 pm (Added matinee)

September 24 at 8 pm

September 25 at 2 pm

September 30 at 8 pm

October 1 at 8 pm

October 2 at 2 pm

CAST LIST BY COMMUNITY

Ursula Linzi Thomas Belleville

King Triton Patrick Kilbourn Berkley

Male Ensemble Patrick Wehner Bloomfield

Female Ensemble Kendall Doman Bloomfield Hills

Female Ensemble Rachel Latimer Clarkston

Ariel Kryssy Becker Commerce Township

Prince Eric Zachary Coates Detroit

Female Ensemble Ami McClenon Fraser

Flotsam Rachel Biber Huntington Woods

Grimsby Vince DeRita New Baltimore

Female Ensemble Regan Castle Pleasant Ridge

Male Ensemble Tim Rochon Rochester Hills

Male Ensemble Michael Champagne Royal Oak

Female Ensemble Erika Fell Royal Oak

Female Ensemble Megan Montalbano Royal Oak

Male Ensemble Tom Regan Royal Oak

Sebastian Dez Walker Royal Oak

Scuttle Jeff Weiner Royal Oak

Chef Louis/Male Ensemble Alan Semonian Southfield

Female Ensemble Emily Lourim Troy

Male Ensemble Tyler Berndt Warren

Flounder Mark Hinton Warren

Jetsam Miles Bond West Bloomfield

Relive your Little Mermaid experience at Walt Disney World Resort. Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid is an attraction in Magic Kingdom Park's Fantasyland. After the attraction, visit nearby Ariel's Grotto for time with your favorite mermaid.

high res photos

BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2
DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2

BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2
DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2

BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2
DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2

BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2
DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2

BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2
All photos by Lance Luce

BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID Splashed With Color and Cheer Thru Oct 2
All photos by Lance Luce

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