Ovations Theatre closed out their 2017-2018 junior season with a rousing and colorful production of The Little Mermaid, Jr. Featuring truly impressive set design and sparkling costumes, the Ovations team put together a production that dazzled younger members of the audience.
This abbreviated version of the 2007 musical featuring songs by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glen Slater clocked in under 90 minutes but included everyone’s favorite numbers including “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World,” and Kiss the Girl.
Leading the cast was Hannah May as Ariel, the youngest mermaid daughter of King Triton. Fascinated by life above the waves, Ariel falls for Prince Eric after saving him from certain death when a storm capsizes his boat. May gave a tender and vulnerable performance and had great chemistry with Prince Eric, played by Matthew Rubin, in their joint numbers. Rubin, in turn, played the prince with charm and ease and a voice well-suited for the role.
Other humorous performances include Delaney Single as Chef Louis, chopping up fish with gleeful abandon while poor Sebastian the Crab (Olivia Albury) hid under a nearby table and Sadie Schulman who brought a real sense of humor to the character of Grimsby, Prince Eric’s valet each time she graced the stage.
Ariel’s group of sea-creature supporters were amicably played by Anna Berkowitz (a delightful Flounder), Anna Berkowitz (a charming Scuttle) and Olivia Albury (an endearing Sebastian) who led the cast in a fun-filled version of “Under the Sea.” Iris Postovit was appropriately evil as Ursula the Sea Witch, her alto voice nicely suited for the “Poor Unfortunate Souls” number.
Another star of the show was the set design. The set actually earned its own round of applause as the curtain opened on Act One to reveal a shimmering under-sea world. Kudos to the set designers for finding easy ways to transport the audience below and above the sea with ease.
Costumes were similarly impressive, my favorites being the sequined mermaid dresses worn by Ariel and her sisters (Mia Rohan, Ellie Regnell, Frances Moore, Audrey Perra, Shaya Kotler, and Kelly Russell) in the “Daughters of Triton” number and Sebastian’s red crab outfit.
Ovations Theatre offers pre-professional theater training to elementary, middle and high school students. For more information on their programs, go online.
Running Time: 85 minutes, including one intermission.
The Little Mermaid, Jr. played through April 22nd at Ovations Theater performing at the JCC-Kreeger Auditorium located at 6125 Montrose Road, in Rockville, MD. For tickets to future shows or more information on Ovations, go online.