Director Jewels: June 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Little Mermaid at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this event. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. 




Travel under the stars - and under the sea - to the most magical show in town this week... Disney's The Little Mermaid at Starlight Theatre! You can catch the performance through June 11. This show was certainly a fun kick-off to Starlight's summer season and we can't wait for more.


The opening production of Starlight's 67th season is a family-friendly adventure, and the night that we attended there were lots of little Ariels out in the crowd waiting for the show to begin. The "Princess Cam" was a fun perk of the pre-show screen entertainment - watch for that if you have little ones attending with you.

Starlight's season consists of The Little Mermaid, Jersey Boys, An American in Paris, Something Rotten!, The Bodyguard, Motown the Musical, Grease, Mamma Mia!, and Kinky Boots. We'll be featuring reviews for a few of these shows here at Director Jewels, so make sure you stop by again to hear about our next adventure in July!


The familiar Disney version of The Little Mermaid was updated for the 2007 Broadway adaptation. I was lucky enough to catch that production on Broadway in the summer of 2008, and this is the first time since then that I have seen a professional production of the show. I couldn't wait to see another interpretation.

I was truly not disappointed! The use of fly lines to convey the mermaids swimming to and from the surface of the water was very convincing and different from the original production I saw almost nine years ago. I appreciated very much the artistic decisions that were made to include several little moments from the movie. Even small things, like the way Ariel and Eric looked at each other at certain points, were clearly taken directly from the film and since I grew up in the 90's when Ariel was a big deal - this was amazing for me to see.


The cast was excellent; they truly seemed to be enjoying themselves and did a wonderful job of bringing the story to life for us. Standouts were Scuttle (Jamie Torcellini), Sebastian (Melvin Abston), and Flounder (Connor Russell), who were given the not-so-easy task of bringing The Little Mermaid's beloved creature characters to life. Sebastian's crab walk cracked me up all night.


My four year old daughter attended the show with me and she was pretty enthralled for the majority of the performance. She was able to follow the story and was thrilled with Ariel overall (but especially her pink dress). I would advise getting to Starlight early if you have a little one in your party - head to guest services and grab a booster seat for them. We weren't there early enough to get a booster seat, but she switched back and forth between her seat and my lap and was able to see the whole show. Her visibility was definitely increased by the use of the large screens above the stage, which projected the show larger than life (concert-style) so that the audience could all see what was going on. While I appreciate that my daughter was able to follow the story a little better thanks to the screens, I was actually not a huge fan of them. I'm not used to screens during a live performance of this nature and they were a little distracting for me. I like to be able to take in the show as a whole, without necessarily needing to have a closeup view. But I do see how the screens would definitely enhance the viewing experience for those who were further back in the house.

Overall, it was a perfect evening at Starlight and I'm so thrilled I was able to continue this fun tradition with my girl after taking her to see Beauty and the Beast last year.


Tickets for The Little Mermaid at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $15-$143+. Tickets are available online at Starlight Theatre, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m.

Thanks to Starlight Theatre for providing my tickets to the show. I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.
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