This summer, I am Theater Mom.
My husband Eric and our eight-year-old daughter Lydia are in the cast of Town Theatre’s presentation of The Little Mermaid this summer. Versatile man that he is, my husband is playing five different roles (Pilot, Manta Ray, Foliage, Chef, and Courtier), and our daughter is playing two (Starfish and Lily Pad) in the Children’s Ensemble.
Most theater moms end up being there as much as their kids, since by the time you drop them off and drive home, it is time to go back and get them. But because my husband has been in it, too, I haven’t been around the rehearsals as much – so when I saw the production opening night, it was a wonderful surprise.
Everything about The Little Mermaid breathes wonder and delight. The set changes are smooth, the costumes delightful, and the cast has energy that just won’t quit. Of course, I think the Children’s Ensemble (double-cast to perform every other night) is the cutest, but the adult performers do a stellar job, too!
Disney fans will recognize some favorite songs like “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl,” but there are some others that are new to the stage version, such as “She’s in Love” (with a fabulous solo for the character of Flounder, portrayed by both Anna Kate Gossett and Nathan Jackson). Other delightful characters include the larger than life Ursula (Jordan Harper), her henchwomen Flotsam and Jetsom (Cortlin Collins and Christy Shealy Mills), and Ariel (Courtney Reasoner) and her friends Sebastian (Jeremy Reasoner) and Scuttle (Jeremy Hansard) who help her win the hand of the charming Prince Eric (William Ellis). And did I mention the flying? And swimming?
My favorite scene in The Little Mermaid, though, is not the flying, swimming, funny, or tender moments. It is a conversation Ariel has with her father King Triton, who hates all humans because he believes they killed his wife. In a moment of frustration, Ariel insists, “I can’t hate him just because he’s different. You can’t blame all humans for a few wicked ones!”
Apt words indeed for our troubled world, a world of which even Sebastian the crab declares, “It’s a mess!”
All in all, it is a wonderful show for the whole family – even my preschooler was entranced from beginning to end! I strongly encourage everyone to see it and take your own journey “Under the Sea!”
The Little Mermaid will have its final performances this weekend. It will play Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Tickets may be obtained by calling Town Theatre at 803.799.2510.