Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — As my career in filmmaking has yet to take off or even begin at all, perhaps there is a future in the bandwagon that is adapting everything imaginable to a musical. Sure, some of the film titles adapted do make sense, especially some of those that already do have ensemble ready numbers, but I figure I’ve got a pretty solid shot if Rocky Balboa and Spiderman can make it there.
Today’s title is certainly dramatic and sappy enough to melt all kinds of hearts on the great white way and it was an extreme pleasure to make it a part of my first visit to the Lyric Theater in Oklahoma City. I admit it wasn’t exactly on my bucket list of shows to view, but the end result was still an entertaining evening. The stage version of “Disney’s the Little Mermaid,” flowed like a smooth ocean current and even when it might gently be close to rocking me to sleep, never went off course of a pleasant voyage.
The story itself (directed by Lyn Cramer) is in a lot of key pieces similar to the 1989 movie, with Princess Ariel (portrayed in this performance by Amanda Lea Lavergne) dreaming of a life among humans like Prince Eric (Storm LineBerger), whom she both defies her father King Triton (Monte Riegel Wheeler) to see and strikes a deal with the sea witch Ursula (Emily Skinner) to be among. The biggest change is that Triton and Ursula are brother and sister and this actually better describes why the witch is so dangerous. For the most part it is a rather wonderful adaptation with some really neat additional songs (The best new being “Positivity” and “If Only”), save for a few scenes that really are there just to fluff it up to Broadway length.