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Review

The Little Mermaid, Jr.
by MET2

THE SHOW:  

Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, Music by Alan Menken, Book by Doug Wright, based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.  

The Disney Renaissance found its legs with the 1989 hit animated film The Little Mermaid. This adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale was an instant hit and finally translated to the Broadway stage in 2008. In it, the little mermaid Ariel, youngest teenage daughter of King Triton and his late wife, is more obsessed with dinglehoppers and other human stuff than with remembering to sing in crabby composer Sebastian’s concerts. When she saves and falls in love with human Prince Eric, a merfolk taboo is broken. If she wants a chance to become human and marry her prince, she’ll have to make a deal with Ursula the Sea Witch, forfeit her voice, and get the prince to kiss her before three sunsets have passed or she’ll be Ursula’s slave for all time. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors) would become Disney superstars beginning with this musical featuring Part of Your World, Kiss the Girl, and Under the Sea.  

THE PRODUCTION:  

MET2 takes us under the sea in a huge production with magical visuals and marine life galore. Alison Bretches directs and choreographs the show featuring some 200 cast members, beautiful backdrops (Grosh Scenic Studios) and sets (Alison Bretches and Ken Basore), flying and cool swimming effects with the aid of ZFX, and Kathie Urban’s innumerable exotic and beautiful costume creations.  

Tessa Southwell stars as Ariel, her Part of Your World full of feeling as she pines for Prince Eric and his mysterious human world, and with a great goofy sense of humor as she tries to charm the prince and takes flirting lessons from Sebastian. Daniel Bellusci is a natural as Prince Eric – easygoing, humble, excited for life and the sea, captivated by Ariel, and terrific vocals to boot. They first touch in dramatic fashion, with Eric drowning high up above the stage, then slowly floating down as Ariel swims up frantically to save him.  

But their relationship will be doomed if Brianca Renfro has anything to do with it. Her Ursula is creative and hilarious with tons of personality as she bemoans the Poor Unfortunate Souls. She’s also got a great costume that, when she high above the stage near the end, her tentacles keep expanding to the floor. Often slinking about those tentacles are Kenjo Cable and Todd Warren Jr. as mini minions Flotsam and Jetsam who are a hit in all their scenes with their Gollum-esque body language and vocal language.  

Other great performances come from Andrew Lucero as a fun and neurotic Sebastian, Hallie Kostrencich who uses her voice, expressions, and dancing all to such great effect as a lovable Scuttle, Sarah Filek as an adorable and dependable Flounder, Joe Fukano as a strong King Triton, and Michael Moroso as crab-cooking Chef Louis leading a bloodthirsty Les Poissons. Ariel’s mersisters (Crystal Sleeper, Kaeli Carr, Jessica Porter, Shayli Regan, Hannah Bourasa, and Tyler Cable) have fantastic personality and vocals as they lead She’s in Love. And then there’s the huge ensemble always incorporated well into their shows. Here they are dozens more younger mersisters, an enormous flock of little seagulls enamored of Human Stuff, amusing chefs who reenact their head chef's frenzied seafood preparation with extra vigor, a variety of frogs, fishes, and birds imploring Prince Eric to Kiss the Girl, and dancing and singing amidst thousands of bubbles while reminding Ariel of the greener seaweed only found Under the Sea.

Performed April 4 - 6, 2014
Photos by Storm Photography

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~ 

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Ariel: Tessa Southwell
Prince Eric: Daniel Bellusci
Ursula: Brianca Renfro
Sebastian: Andrew Lucero
Flounder: Sarah Filek
King Triton: Joe Fukano
Scuttle: Hallie Kostrencich
Flotsam: Kenjo Cable
Jetsam: Todd Warren Jr.
Grimsby: Jacob Reno
Pilot: Naotaro Kato
Aquata: Crystal Sleeper
Atina: Kaeli Carr
Allana: Jessica Porter
Andrina: Shayli Regan
Adella: Hannah Bourasa
Arista: Tyler Cable
Chef Louis: Michael Moroso
Carlotta: Kyra Parrish
Ensemble: 
Cierra Achay
Karol Acosta
Aiden Anaya
Renee Arehart
Eron Argel
Riley Arnold
Kenadee Ash
Madyson Ash
Melissa Avina
Hailey Ayala
Sarah Bacon
Blu Bakhoum
Tylin Bakhoum
Sofia Ballard
Matilda Barth
Sonja Barth
Autumn Beynon
Katrina Blackman
Lauren Bloss
Hannah Bourasa
Miranda Bridges
Isabella Brijil
Erianne Bungay
Camrin Burkhammer
Phoebe Burns
Kate Byun
Kenjo Cable
Tyler Cable
Keirstyn Camiolo
Jade Campbell
Natalie Campbell
Violet Campbell
Lacey Capps
Mackenzie Capps 
Isabella Carballo
Gabriela Carter
Miley Chacon
Kaylee Cho
Emily Chow
Christian Chun
Alison Cool
Emma Cool
Andrea Cornejo
Kaelee Cortez
Sarahi Cortez-Gonzalez
Korinn Corzo
Kayla Covington
Kimberly Crist
Lucie Czako
Sammy Del Alcazar
Daniella Delgadillo
Jacqueline Diaz
Laila Digras
Cameron Dillon
Elise DiPaola
Michael Disario
Isabella DiStasio
Sophia DiStasio
Bijou Douglas
Laila Monet Dupart
Amber Estrada
Sarah Filek
Joe Fukano
Sasha Gabauer
Skyler Gabriel
Raeleigh Gallagher
Christina Gan
Alyssa Garcia
Laniyah Garcia
Adam Gibson
Mia Gibson
Sara Gilger
Sophia Gomez
Cruz Gonzalez
Victoria Gonzalez
Giovanni Grossi
Leah Grossi
Jeff Grundy
Flynn Guenther
Jack Guenther
Sarah Guidinger
Haley Guinn
Juliette Gurung
Audrey Gutierrez
Olivia Gutierrez
Justin Hardin
Ariella Hecker
Gavin Higa
Halle Holzbauer
Maya Hughes
Jasmin Hurtado
Richard Hurtado
Sabrina Hurtado
Persiphanie Ibarra
Katrina Iguban
Miku Inoue
Diego Jasso
Jenny Jo
Catherine Johnson
Cherish Johnson
Lily Johnson
Victoria Jung
Melia Kamikawa
Nana Kato
Naotaro Kato
Nasa Kato
Kyra Kaya
Alanna Kempisty
Devin Kempisty
Alyssa Ketsdever
Charlotte Kieft
Katie Kim
Rin Kiryu
Yui Kitamura
Miya Konishi
Hallie Kostrencich
Evan Krauss
Samantha Krug
Mary-Lynn Labasan
Jackie Lacroix
Arwen Lakandula
Amy Ledergerber
Greg Ledergerber
Jade Leone
Janet Lim
Andrew Lucero
Jonathan Manjarrez
Jamilette Manzanares
Isabella Marcello
Sophia Marino
Ashlie Marquez
Jami Martin
Jessi Martin
Alyza Martinez
Maya Mattes
Zakiya Maxey
Alexia Mazzotta
Kylie McElroy
Mason McElroy
Abigail Melendres
Molly Melia
Jaila Merritt
Julian Merritt
Dylan Michael
Braniyah Monday
Joelle Moroso
Michael Moroso
Abigail Munoz
Sera Nakano
Michael Nelson III
Lydia Nitzschner
Miu Noguchi
Taylor Norcross
Alex Noyes
Tyler O'Bryan
Devin Ochoa
Anissa Olivas
Scarlet Otte
Violet Otte
Karis Palomino
Mauro Palomo
Kira Parrish
Isabella Pellicciari
Nicole Pennington
Jameson Perez
Alissa Phillips
Kai Phillips
Shelby Phillips
Patricia Pineda
Tyler Pioch
Dana Placide
Jessica Porter
Shayli Reagan
Jacob Reno
Madison Reno
Serenity Robb
Madison Ruth
Mattie Ryan
Iliana Salcedo
Jessica Sarkisian
Michael Savic
Svetlana Savic
Olivia Schafer
Elise Schmitt
Mani Sefas-Loos
Maki Shigetani
Chloe Silverstein
Jordan Simpson
Crystal Sleeper
Melissa Smith
Michael Smith
Alix Soderberg
Danica Soderberg
Lexie Sorensen
Tessa Southwell
Francesca Spain
Kirk Stefferud
Cheryle Stites
Kiera Strader
Leila Sugimoto
Katie Takata
Daniela Talleda
Sydney Tanaka
Lana Tennant
Emily Thornton
Emma Tiedemann
Emma Trani
Saniya Travenia
Thea Trevisan
Ryleeh Tuaolo
Cailey Umamoto
Corey Umamoto
Karachi (Kara) Uzoukwu
Zarina Verceles
Isabella Verdadero
Alyssa Viernes
Kylie Voigt
Jennifer Walsh
Todd Warren Jr.
Roma Watkins
Chloe Williams
Jayda Williams
Rachel Wong
Emily Wu
Katie Wu
Rena Wu
Malia Yee
Noelani Yokota
Ellie Yun
Jadyn Zygmond

Director/Choreographer: Alison Bretches
Asst. Director/Asst. Choreographer: Kaeli Carr
Lighting Design: Michael Panman
Scenic Design: Alison Bretches & Ken Basore
Flying Effects by ZFX: Russ Morgan (ZFX) & Ken Basore (MET2)
Scenic Drop Painting: Grosh Scenic Studios
Costume Design: Kathie Urban
Rehearsal/Show Pianist: Graham Jackson
Show Musicians:
Percussionist: Brian Boyce
Bass: William Johnson
Production Stage Manager: Corielle Zambrotta-Lopez
Production Photography: Nancy Orphal-Hickey
Executive Producer: Kathie Urban
Associate Producer: Mary Clausen



   

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