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Review: Hale Centre Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID is Magical

Review: Hale Centre Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID is Magical

THE LITTLE MERMAID plays through January 28, 2023.

Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID on Hale Centre Theatre's Centre Stage in Sandy is an oceanic paradise of possibilities--you never know what new visual delight might be in store.

THE LITTLE MERMAID (music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, book by Doug Wright) is a Broadway musical as much deserving of success as the hit animated film on which it's based. With a shimmering score that features both old and new favorites, it has all the makings of a hit. The show tells the beloved tale of a young mermaid named Ariel who will give anything, even her beautiful voice, to be with Prince Eric--a human with whom she has fallen in love. But will he fall in love with her in return before it's too late?

Director Ryan Simmons has wisely chosen to fill the air in front of the audience with movement via wires and aerial choreography (courtesy of Ramsi Nia Stoker). Not only does it fill the empty space, it creates the illusion of underwater inhabitants much more credibly than most productions. Especially satisfying are the swim-simulating elements of "Part of Your World" and "She's in Love." The enjoyable choreography by Lindsey D. Smith transitions smoothly from the air to the ground, filling the horizontal space in addition to the vertical.

The costumes by Joy Zhu, wigs/makeup by Candice Cronin, and puppets by Jenn Taylor are all truly a wonder to behold. Ursula's massive tentacles, handled expertly by ensemble members in black, are a marvelous match for her eel minions' gleaming puppet-mounted garb. Ariel's final gown is a glorious golden treasure worthy of a Disney-produced show on Broadway. And the list goes on.

The fanciful set by Kacey Udy evokes a vivid coral reef and a pink-frosted above-ground kingdom. The lighting by Jaron Kent Hermansen is complementary to the rest of the design and staging, creating effective water effects and several awe-inspiring moments. Waves of glittering confetti fall as the final mesmerizing touch to the magical visuals.

All the moving pieces require a lot of the capable cast, who put on a very entertaining show. What they may lack in some subtlety and precision is made up for in life and energy as they give their all to their performances.

They include Sophia Marie Guerrero (double cast with Rachel Martorana) as Ariel; Zack Wilson (double cast with Preston Taylor) as Eric; Alec Powell (double cast with Brian Love) as Sebastian; Jared Lesa (double cast with Josh Richardson) as Triton; Luseane Pasa (double cast with Mack) as Ursula; Jordan Mazzocato (double cast with Jason Buonforte) as Flotsam; Gunnar Russell (double cast with Scotty Fletcher) as Jetsam; Jim Dale (double cast with Eric Johnson) as Grimsby; Kyle Baugh (double cast with Scott Hendrickson) as Chef Louis; Trevor Dean (double cast with Collin Larsen) as Scuttle; and Brigham Kerr, Cole Young, and Blake Burnham rotating as Flounder.

THE LITTLE MERMAID plays through January 28, 2023. For tickets, call the box office at 801-984-9000 or visit www.hct.org.

Photo Credit: Hale Centre Theatre



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From This Author - Tyler Hinton

Tyler Hinton has been a contributing editor at BroadwayWorld since January 2012. He has a BA from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor i... (read more about this author)


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