It was a lovely afternoon “under the sea” (on Sunday, December 6th) when the stage lit up and brought to life one my favorite childhood fairy tales of a beautiful mermaid who’s quest was to find true love up above the waters.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid, brought to us San Jose locals by none other than CMT Marquee. With 20 years as Artistic Director for CMT, Kevin R. Hauge put together an amazing production with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman & Glenn Slater.
The show started off with Ariel (played by Samantha Rose Cardenas) swimming around with best friend, Flounder (played by Nic Garcia) as she grows more and more fond of her life outside of the waters and into the human world. But before her head can escape from her, she realizes that she missed a huge ceremony to celebrate her sisters and father, King Triton (played by James Devreaux Lewis), which lands her into trouble. Meanwhile, up above the ocean, a ship with a full crew and one very determined guy set forth to take over his land. Prince Eric (played by Jaron Liclican) found himself overboard when his ship was struck by a terrible storm at sea. However, he awoke slowly on the shores of his own land while his rescuer’s beautiful voice mesmerized him. Not only was this voice something he couldn’t get out of his mind, he was also sure that whoever saved him was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, so he and Grimsby (played by Gary Beytin) decided to throw a ball and invite all the maidens in the land to attend and sing for the prince. I noticed that there were songs from this play that I did not recall in the movie, but still very telling to the storyline.
Meanwhile, down in the ocean, Ariel’s secret of saving Prince Eric was accidentally revealed to her father by Sebastian (played by Ivan Bracy) and low and behold, King Triton became furious with Ariel as he blames the humans for her mother’s death. King Triton unleashed his fury onto Ariel’s hidden human treasures and destroyed them. Ariel’s feelings were hurt as her only connection with the humans were gone. She was so upset and was left with no choice but to see the sea witch, Ursula (played by Robin Boshears). The twist to this story which was not what I remembered in the original movie was King Triton & Ursula were brother and sisters and Ursula was banished by King Triton for her cruel ways. Ariel made a deal with Ursula to become human in exchange for her voice, but would need to kiss Prince Eric in 3 days, otherwise, Ariel would belong to Ursula.
Once Ariel made the deal to become human, she headed towards land, learned how to walk and did her very best to communicate with Prince Eric that she was in fact the person he has been looking for. My favorite part of the show was during the “kiss the girl” scene when Eric & Ariel were being serenaded by Sebastian and all the sea and lake creatures…it was a great part to sing along to!
The ball for Prince Eric commences and after meeting with and listening to the maidens sing to him, he realizes that Ariel is the person he wants to be with. But before he can find her to attest his feelings, Ursula whisks Ariel back into the deep ocean where she is confronted by her brother, King Triton. The scene is again different from the movie as Ariel is the one to destroy Ursula before she can destroy the ocean’s kingdom.
In the end, King Triton accepts that his daughter’s love is true and strong for Prince Eric and turns her into a human once and for all.
I personally thought the show was very entertaining and the cast members did a fantastic job portraying the characters. I brought my 5 year old daughter with me and she not only enjoyed the show, she had a chance to take photos with the characters at the end.
Show time is 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 20 minute intermission. So, if you decide to bring your littles, you may want to keep that in mind. The Little Mermaid runs through Sunday, December 13, 2015. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at www.cmtsj.org