The Little Mermaid by The Delaware County Christian School in Newtown Square, PA
March 14, 2017
Review submitted by Shelby Lenhart of Upper Merion Area HS
There is nothing quite as endearing as a Disney movie – the only thing better is when that very passion, magic, and lush story is given life on stage, just as it was at Delaware County Christian School’s production of The Little Mermaid.
The Broadway smash-hit is based on the timeless Disney movie with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, which depicts the tale of young mermaid Ariel who becomes enamored with the shipwrecked Prince Eric. When Ariel is granted legs by the sorceress Ursula, it becomes a race against the clock to win the heart of her prince.
The natural challenge that arises from performing a Disney musical is the immediate association with the film and the ingrained expectation of a certain caliber of performance. The cast not only accepted this test, but surpassed the limitations set by such presumptions.
Lauren Hackett provided the bewitching voice for Ariel, wholly assuming the role as an alluring siren. Hackett presented the classic number “Part of Your World” with all the grace, poise, and beauty of any rival princess. Her chemistry with Prince Eric, played by Jacob Halladay, blossomed with the heart-warming “One Step Closer”, as their expressive movements and longing gazes captured the essence of a fairytale romance.
Ben Doctor tackled the iconic role as Sebastian the crab with tact, exuding class and chaos, quickly establishing himself as the center of the comedic universe. Jordan Thompson became the perfect vessel for the mystique and magic of the sea-witch Ursula. Her show-stopping vocals and bold stage presence was both entirely watchable and incredibly dynamic. Thompson’s fluid, rippling movements added to the water-based illusion, flowing gorgeously beside her henchmen Flotsam and Jetsam, played by Sunny Shin and Stella Yang respectively, who dazzled with their crisp harmonies and slick movements. The Mersisters also became quite a notable entity, with their comedic presence and wry sisterly jabs. The ensemble was also able to reign in energy at points where it began to dip – an impressive feat.
As with any show, scene changes are a pivotal aspect, an undertaking which they handled with grace, leaving no want for speed.
Spells, shells, and true love all reigned supreme on Delaware County Christian School’s stage, illuminated with dreams of Disney as they graced the audience with their rendition of The Little Mermaid.
Review submitted by Gabriela Campolongo of Upper Merion Area HS
Swim on over to Delaware County Christian School to “sea” the Disney classic The Little Mermaid!
Ariel (Lauren Hackett), the youngest mer-daughter of ocean royalty, King Triton (Michael Alford), yearns to swap out her fins for a pair of legs to become a human. Ariel’s dream becomes reality when she encounters the sea witch Ursula (Jordan Thompson) and is offered the opportunity to become human for three days; but she must get the human Prince Eric (Jake Halladay) to fall in love with her. The only catch: Ariel’s lovely voice is exchanged for her ability to walk on land.
Hackett’s enchanting vocals sweetened the heartstrings of her Prince Eric. Halladay and Hackett never broke eye contact and even without a voice, Ariel’s adoring facial expressions spoke more than words ever could. The chemistry between the two was delightful and did not fail to impress.
Not only did Thompson have powerhouse vocals, such as in dominant numbers like “Daddy’s Little Angel” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, her dramatic stage presence as Ursula was a showstopper. Between her booming devilish voice and the accompaniment of her loyal minions, Flotsam and Jetsam (Sunny Shin and Stella Yang), Ursula was hauntingly stunning.
Ariel wouldn’t be the same without the help of her ocean friends, Flounder (Ginny Johnson) and Sebastian (Ben Doctor). Flounder’s adorable-yet-timid fluttering fins and Sebastian’s hilarious antics proved the importance of friends when life isn’t going as swimmingly as we hoped.
While the energy of the ensemble was underwhelming on occasion, the cast brought the best of their enthusiasm into the playful and engaging large numbers “Under The Sea” and “Kiss the Girl”.
With only a few microphone issues, the occasional lack of energy, and a sprained ankle thrown into the mix, the cast didn’t miss a beat! Delaware County Christian School’s beautiful execution of The Little Mermaid proved to be “Beyond My Wildest Dreams”!