“The Little Mermaid Jr.” dazzles audiences under the sea
Stars and Stripes September 11, 2023
Full of surprises, The Little Mermaid Jr. at USAG Wiesbaden’s Amelia Earhart Playhouse transports audiences to a magical underwater world and leaves them wondering why Ariel would want to leave.
The familiar plot is given new life with amazing sets, colorful creatively-costumed characters and a talented cast. The opening scene is an instant awakening of the undersea world, full of vibrant color and action. Glittery fish appear to float and sparkle onstage, two fun skating sea turtles swim around, and every merperson has a unique personality conveyed by their costume.
Directed by Chresteane Howell, Little Mermaid Jr. at the Amelia Earhart Playhouse is an action-packed performance with a cast of 41 extremely talented young people. Howell’s creative choice to have cast members glide on roller blades and Heely’s is an inventive way to enhance the underwater feeling through choreography. In addition, the use of props, puppetry and impressive costuming brings the sea to life.
The moodiness of the ocean is best portrayed when the stage is transformed into the sea witch’s lair. Eels Flotsam and Jetsam slither and hiss their perfectly synced lines, upping the drama as Ursula appears. Ursula’s voice is perfectly snarly and yet so fluid it slips into your ears and almost makes you believe her lies. It is an inspired performance. In fact, Ursula is so believably evil, that parents may want to prepare sensitive children.
“It is an inspired performance.”
The show ranges from serious to romantic but is most often hilarious. Flounder, Scuttle and Sebastian create a trio of cuteness that lasts the entire show. Scuttle hits the mark with her action-packed bird flapping movements, Sebastian’s cantankerous attitude keeps the audience laughing, and Flounder steels the stage swinging her fishy hips while the mermaids sing “She’s in Love.” Through all of this, Ariel keeps her likable sweetness, Prince Eric proves his bravery, and their shyness toward each other is palpable.
More surprises and comedic touches pop up throughout the performance. Its synchronization is a credit to the production and backstage crew, many of whom are youth. From a crazy mustache to some Disney cameos, there is a lot going on from start to finish, and the dramatic well-acted scenes make the ticket price feel like a steal.
“Don’t miss your chance to see Little Mermaid Junior.”
Reservations are highly recommended for this show, as seats are limited in the compact Amelia Earhart Theater. Purchase tickets at the Wiesbaden Arts and Crafts Center (open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- call civ 0611-143-548-9838) or through the Amelia Earhart Playhouse at civ (0611) 143-548-9812.