Monday, November 21, 2011

The Little Mermaid by Atlantis Productions Review

So a few days ago I wrote that I would be watching Disney's The Little Mermaid by Atlantis Production with my good friend Mariah.

Earlier, Mariah and I were at the Meralco Theater in Ortigas to watch the 8pm showing of Disney's The Little Mermaid.

I was hungry and since we had about an hour before the play started, we went to McDonalds to grab a bite to eat.

We got back to the theater in time. Most of the people were already in so we didn't have to wait in line anymore. On a side note, I was so glad I didn't purchase the tickets from one of those Groupon sites. The line for the voucher holders was so long. Plus, it was on a first come first served basis. If I got tickets from there, then we would have probably been seated in a crappy location.

So here's the lobby.

Since I was taking pictures of Mariah, naturally I had the camera in my hand. All of a sudden, this girl who was one of the ushers told me in a very sarcastic-matter-of-factly-know-it-all tone, "You're not allowed to take pictures inside the theater".

"I know. It's not my first time", I sarcastically answered then smiled the most insulting smile I could muster at that moment. I could have been nice, but I did not like her tone.

So without further ado, here is my review of the play. Im just going to focus mostly on the set, costume and acting.

Rachelle Ann Go as Ariel
Erik Santos as Prince Eric
Calvin Millado as King Triton
Jinky Llamanzares as Ursula
OJ Mariano as Sebastian

Set design, Props and Costumes

The stage was simple and clean. What made the props stand out were the lights. I must say, kudos to the technical team. The stage design and props were completely different from the broadway version but they were very well made. I like the way they designed everything, it was over-the-top but in a positive way.

Costumes were also different. They mostly followed the original costume design except for Ariel and King Triton's top. Sebastian's costume, to be honest didn't make him look like a crab. His costume looked like one of those Thai Bronze Statues. Oh one more thing, the costume for the seahorses looked like kangaroos. Everything else was good. I'm just saying.

Ariel's hair was not red. It was brown. I wish they got a wig that was redder.

Songs and Acting

They sang every song from The Little Mermaid musical. I was actually hesitant at first because I wasn't sure if Rachelle Ann Go has the range to sing songs those high but I was wrong. Boy was I wrong. Compared to her official recording of Part of Your World, her live version was so much better. She nailed it, she fucking nailed it. Hands down, I have a new-found respect for Rachelle Ann Go. Clap clap clap.

Erik Santos' portrayal of Prince Erik was really good and I must say he delivered a great performance with the songs he sung. The character he played has about 6 or 7 songs and he was amazing. He was effortless in hitting those high notes. One thing though, they should have looked for someone to polish his english. His accent was a bit thick and it was distracting in contrast to the whole cast. But acting and singing were superb.

OJ Mariano did a good job and he did the jamaican accent really well. Again he was good but I really found his costume funny. No offense to the costume team, I think they did a good job but maybe they could lose the antenna looking thing and those wing-like things on Sebastians head. Last time I checked, crabs didn't have antennas or wings.

Jinky Llamanzares for me was the one who stood out. She actually received a standing ovation when she came out during the curtain call. Only she received one. Her performance was outstanding and she reminded me a lot of Sherie Rene Scott, the woman who originally played Ursula on Broadway. A thing I noticed though, it seemed as if she was yelling out, not belting, some of her lines. It was a little distracting.

Calvin Millado as Trinon was good but he did not stand out except for a few scenes such as when he destroyed Ariel's treasure trove, when he sang "If Only" and during the finale.


I have to admit that at first I had my hesitations watching the play because I knew that it would be different from the original broadway production. But I was blown away and it was still the first half of Act 1. I must say that I enjoyed almost every moment of it. It was so much better than what I expected. From the songs, to the set design, to the acting. Superb.

But, it's not without its flaws. There were two things I did not like. The scene where the Prince fell from the ship and the mermaid had to save him and the most important scene which was the mermaid's transformation. In the original production on broadway, they had harnesses to hold the actors so they could be lifted thus making the scene of swimming upward more believable. What they did in the Philippine production was, they used these shadow puppet thingys. I did not like that part.

Aside from that, I truly enjoyed the play. It's the type that any age could appreciate and wouldn't mind watching again. It wasn't too cheesy nor was it too dull. Mariah was surprised when she looked at me and she saw me mouthing the lyrics to every song. Yes dear readers, I have the whole soundtrack implanted in my head.

I rarely write good reviews so when I do write one, it means I really enjoyed it. I tip my hat to Atlantis Productions. A job well done to all of you. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the future. Who knows, I might watch the Little Mermaid again before its final run.

The play runs from November 18- December 11. If you wanna purchase tickets, click HERE.

No comments: