Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' makes a BIG splash in JAX

“In a magical kingdom fathoms below, we meet Ariel, the little mermaid, who is tired of flipping her fins and longs to be part of the fascinating world on dry land. Joining her are Sebastian, Ariel’s crabby sidekick; Ursula, the evil sea witch; Triton, King of the Sea and the handsome and human Prince Eric.”  This is only a little part of the story, and the beginning of what’s in store for you during the presentation of The Little Mermaid at the Times Union Moran Theatre from now until this Sunday.

So many little girls came in their Little Mermaid costumes; while some mothers, and attendees adorned in blue and green hair promenaded the halls for the annual ‘Family Night on Broadway’.  There was excitement everywhere!

The Choreography is top notch and the cabled flights will remind you of scenes from Peter Pan, but you are right there to witness the thrills of the evening.  Do you remember ‘sneakers with wheels’?  Well, you’ll see some crazy birds glide across the stage (see photo) during this spectacular show.  The live orchestra did not get their just recognition in the playbill, but they did a magnificent job under the direction of Colin R. Freeman.  The music and singing were top-notch and worthy of the Disney name.

It’s amazing how Ariel and the other underwater creatures flex their bodies back-and-forth to represent swimming, nonetheless, they accomplish these moves while saying lines, singing, and flying through the deep-blue ocean air.  Costumes are very vibrant in so many pastel colors.  The scene “Under The Sea” is like viewing a Louisiana Mardi Gras or dancers on the Vegas strip, but you are viewing it on the Times Union stage.

Crazy birds on skates (top) Ariel (bottom)
Because of all the changes in characters from the Marquee playbill, this writer cannot give total credit to the proper actors, but I will try to do my best.  On one of the many papers flying around the auditorium (you should stay until the end and see who is going to clean up all the clutter), kudos go out to Dennis O’Bannion whose name was omitted.  Let it be known that all but one of Ariel’s Mersisters also doubled as the Maids; well done ladies.

Ariel (Diana Huey) has a stunning operatic-soprano voice that doesn’t allow a body harness to hamper her acting or vocals.  Sebastian (Melvin Abston) stole the show with his lobster-like moves and precise diction.  Besides having a wonderful octopus (minus a couple of tentacles) costume, Ursula (Jennifer Allen) gave a stellar performance with her mean antagonistic self.  All the actors, stage coordinators, manager, director and every assistant that “The Little Mermaid” show uses in putting on this musical, deserve to be recognized.  You don’t want to miss this show.  By far it has to be the most stunning show of the year and maybe of 2016 too.

DATES:         TIMES:
Wed., Mar. 22      7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Mar. 23     7:30 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 24       8 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 25      2 & 8 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 26      1:30 & 7p.m.

      Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

REGULAR SHOW TICKETS: start at $38.50, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series (the official presenter of the Jacksonville show), or by calling (904) 442-BWAY (2929) between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Discounts are available for groups of 10+ by calling (904) 442-2947 or emailing

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I really miss these shows! Fantastic photography!