The Little Mermaid on Stage: Take a Trip Under the Sea
In a high school concert my sophomore year my friend and I got to showcase our talents in a duet in front of the entire school. We spend the whole semester planning and practicing to find the perfect song (equal parts fun and ability to showcase our vocal talents). Our song pick? “She’s in Love” from the Little Mermaid on Broadway. We dressed up as mermaids and sang the mer-sisters classic song. And that’s how I fell in love with the broadway production of The Little Mermaid.
As a young kid I always identified with Ariel from the Disney movie (mostly because my red hair), but also because of her great desire to experience something new and change... you know “part of your world” and all the things she collected to understand this world. I was like that. And this experience was totally new for Disney. But they dove right in with production.
The broadway production in 2008 was kind of a flop, but the music (by the brilliant Alan Menken) was spectacular. Along with the costumes and set design that took us “Under the Sea.” The images from the show truly show what a magical world Little Mermaid is.
There was question that seemed the hardest problem with the stage production: How do we get our characters to look like they’re swimming? Their answer: Rollerskates.
More brilliant than the New York production was the Tokyo production in 2013. Their use of movement as Ariel swims across the stage is incredible, and instead of roller-skates, they actually moved Ariel with a rig system. Take a look at what it looked like here:
The more fluid Ariel is more realistic to me. She seems to float across the stage just like a mermaid underwater. Now if they can just bring this similar rig system back to the U.S. and put the show back on Broadway, I would be one happy mortal.