There's an interesting creation at TPAC's Jackson Hall this week. The touring version of Disney's The Little Mermaid is playing all weekend, much to the amazement of little girls and red heads all over the city. However, coming off a list of plays like Beautiful and Something Rotten, it leaves a lot to be desired. It has some redeeming qualities and wasn't the worst production I've ever seen, but it's definitely not vying for a Tony.
We all know the story, so I won't bore you with the details. There are a couple plot changes they've made for the stage production, something most all of us are used to. Nothing vital was left out, except one little sequence. Really though, that's the least thing wrong with this show.
Where this show went wrong was the blithering lack of attention to detail. Things like visible wheels on props, Scuttle's costume lacking tail feathers, Poseidon's visible tattoo sleeves, Prince Eric pushing 40: these are things I wouldn't mention if it were community theater in Bellevue or a show on a Carnival Cruise. But Jackson Hall at TPAC? Eesh, guys. Going from Something Rotten to this is basically going from Kayne Prime to McDonalds.
But I doubt it will matter and in a way, that's ok. While the props were cheesy, I'm sure they saved some money they've spent on retaining a really great Ariel. With Poseidon, you can see his tattoo sleeves only if you're sitting in the first few rows. And if you are seeing them, you'll want to join the sisters in calling him "Daddy." He's basically a human sculpture, like an older Brock O'Hurn (if you don't know who that is, get on Instagram now ... you're welcome!) with flowing hair and a chiseled body. If you're reading this review, Poseidon - call me.
If you're a parent or a "guncle", take your kids to see this show. If you're wanting to go, you'd better be a big fan of the original story and ready for the fact it's not going to be great. But kids will love it and kids always need to be taken to the theatre. I liked it a lot better when I thought of it as a drag pageant talent number. They've done this show on a budget and thrown it together like your dad throwing your birthday party. It's not great but if you're a kid, it doesn't really matter. You'll still like it. There's enough that redeems this show to make it watchable.
And seriously, Poseidon, call me.
The Little Mermaid runs through Sunday the Sixth with matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online. Photo: Mark & Tracy Photography