What: Disney’s The Little Mermaid presented by Fairwinds Broadway In Orlando
When: Tuesday – Sunday, March 7-12, 2017 (show times vary) See website for more info.
Where: Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts – Walt Disney Theater
Tickets start at $33.75 each

Lean Green DAD received a pair of complimentary tickets on an invited media night to review this production. The views and opinions expressed in this post are our own. For more details on what this means, please visit our disclosure page.

The Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts is Orlando’s new home to a variety of performing arts. Our Lean Green Family had an opportunity to check out Disney’s The Little Mermaid on opening night. We’re here to tell you that it is just as much fun as you would expect it to be! The show is perfectly suited for your little ones. It starts with a toe-tapping overture that includes all of your favorite “fishy classics” from the show, and it will get you and your kids tapping your feet or even singing full voice (like the grown man behind us)!

The production includes a full cast of Actor’s Equity performers, including Ms. Lisa Karlin. You might remember her from an episode of Lean Green DAD Radio. We talked to her about her role of Leading Player in the Broadway tour of Pippin. Lisa plays the part of one of Ariel’s six  jealous sisters, “Aquata.” The show stars the sweet and innocent Diana Huey as Ariel and a golden-voiced Matthew Kacergis as Prince Eric in a production that is sure to equally please your eyes (with a colorful, vibrant set) and your ears (with some wonderful quality voices). Of course, Flounder, King Triton, Sebastian and the rest of the gang are there, but we couldn’t stop laughing at Scuttle, played masterfully by James Torcellini. His tap number, which was funny and full of character, stole the show for us!

The first act of the performance is extremely familiar with the story slowly unfolding just like it does in the movie. There are lots of similarities between the movie and the stage play, of course, but also wonderful differences that really invite you to suspend your reality for a bit and take a dive “under the sea” with Ariel and her friends. Ursula (played by Jennifer Allen) is a diva with a voice that won’t let anything stop her. During our performance, there were some minor mic issues that forced Jennifer to have to use a handheld mic, but she powered through it, brought the audience along with her, and still brought the house down at the end of Act I’s “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”

Act II was extremely enjoyable and fast-paced. With the show moving at a nice speed, we saw more creativity in the telling of the story and absolutely loved the famous “Kiss The Girl” number in the boat with Ariel and Eric. Sebastian (played by Melvin Abston) really shines in this number, as he never drops character, even for a second. Watch closely for his entrances and exits off stage for a good chuckle…he walks like a crab!

As you can probably guess by now, this production is family-friendly and a great time for kids of all ages. As a dad, it felt nice to know that my young daughter would be able to see a familiar production with a creative twist. Our discussion at the end of the show left us talking about how cool the costumes were and the acting was, but even better was the lively discussion about how the performers adjusted to a situation “on the fly” when things happened on the stage that weren’t necessarily going as planned. As a dad with a degree in the performing arts, and a mom who is currently performing professionally, my daughter is destined to have a love of the arts. There is something, however, that I value more than her desire to see a great show and possibly perform on the stage. The intellectual discussion about how the show made us feel is what is truly valuable to me. On this daddy-daughter date, Disney’s The Little Mermaid was a HUGE win.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid can be seen at the Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts now through March 12, 2017. For tickets and information, click HERE.

Cory Warren
Follow me