Smith 1 John Smith Dr. Tracy Spencer HUMA 1315 2C1 16 Apr. 2018 The Dickinson High School Production of The Little Mermaid I attended a production of The Little Mermaid, a musical produced by the Drama Department of Dickinson High School in Dickinson, Texas. Since my cousin was performing in The Little Mermaid, I chose to do a theater critique. Because it was a show put on by high school students, I did not have high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised to see a well-polished staged show. The Little Mermaid is a musical based on the story by Hans Christen Anderson and the Disney cartoon of the same name. It tells the story of Ariel, a mermaid who wants to be human, and Eric, a prince who wants to be a sailor instead of a king. Ariel trades her voice to become human and get Eric to fall in love with her. Basically, the plot is the same as the cartoon with some exceptions. A few differences include the mention of Ariel’s mother passing away and that Triton hates humans because he thinks they killed her. Also in the stage show, Ursula and Triton are brother and sister; I do not think this is mentioned in the cartoon. The set pieces were built to move on and off the stage. They could be turned and used in different scenes. For example, there were two large wall-type structures. One could be turned and used as Ursula’s Lair and King Triton’s Throne Room. It had a big clam looking shell that Ursula could sit in. The other side was a throne for King Triton to sit on. It had shells, blue netting and white columns. The second piece turned from Ariel’s secret cave to the mersisters’ room. There was a wig head, candleholder, wine glasses and other “human” things that Ariel collected. The other side was painted pink and looked like a girl’s bedroom. The crew used Smith 2 images of ocean waves and a sandy shore projected onto the background. This gave the impression of being underwater or being on the beach. I thought that the sets were made well and the projections were a great addition to the staging. Due to the cast’s size, around one hundred people, the costumes must have been a challenge. I liked how they made jellyfish by adding streamers and ribbons to brightly colored umbrellas. In my opinion, the biggest challenge had to be making costumes for the merpeople. Their long skirts looked like mermaid tails. Every mermaid had a different color bikini top. They were decorated with shells, starfish, flowers and different colored crystals. Ariel was the only one who actually had a tail sticking out behind her. I think she should have had a skirt tail like the others. Taking the tail off and on made Ariel miss a few cues. All of the actors did an excellent job with their performances. I can admit that my expectations were not very high. I especially enjoyed Sebastian the Crab and Flounder the Fish. Overall, Sebastian was probably the most talented actor. He sang extremely well, and his comic timing was spot on. I was impressed that he could act and sing so well while maintaining a fake Jamaican accent. The actor playing Eric probably had the strongest voice. In fact, everyone in the show sounded amazing. The one exception, in my opinion, would have been Ariel. While she was a very good actress, her voice seemed weak. Her weakness seemed more obvious due the strength of the other actors’ voices. One of the best songs in the show is one that is not in the cartoon. The mersisters sing a song called “She’s in Love.” All of the girls had good voices, and they sounded really great together. The audience seemed to like this song as well. The show was two hours with a twenty-minute intermission. Honestly, I did not think this show would be very good, but I would have to say that the Dickinson High School Drama Department exceeded my expectations. Elaborate costumes, well-rehearsed performances, and Smith 3 interesting sets helped the audience get into the show. The overall impression I got was positive. Furthermore, I would say that judging from the standing ovation, the audience agreed with me.