“The Little Mermaid” takes audiences under the sea at the Warsaw’s Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts.
Newcomers Audrey Kennedy and Angel Lozada are delightful to watch as Ariel and Prince Eric. They make a charming couple as they look for true love that seems impossible between a mermaid and a human. Kennedy charms the audience with her beauty, her voice and her actions. Lozada, as the handsome prince, has everyone on his side as he seeks the woman he has fallen in love with.
The songs are special. “The World Above” and “Fathoms Below” open the show. “Daddy’s Little Angel,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” “Beyond My Wildest Dreams” and “Kiss the Girl” are but a few of the numbers that pull the show together with nonstop motion in the aquatic landscape. Hats off to Thomas N. Stirling and the members of the orchestra for a job well done.
If we were voting on outstanding characters, Sebastian, a crab with wisdom (George Vickers), would be close behind Ariel and the prince. He’s great as he tries to keep track of Ariel. An almost impossible job. He continually seeks to convince the young princess she is better off under the sea but follows her to land in order to keep her safe.
Parker Irwin is Flounder, a fish who has a crush on Ariel. Irwin turn in a very good performance as he tries to get Ariel’s attention whenever he’s on stage.
Keaton Eckdoff is Scuttle, a bird who is a friend of the Little Mermaid. Scuttle flies on and off the stage and seems to be there every time Ariel goes the surface. Eckdoff is amusing and does a fantastic job.
Ariel is the youngest daughter of King Triton (Denny Burgos) who also turns in an excellent performance as the person in charge of the undersea world. All of the sea creatures obey the king except his youngest daughter. The king calls humans “barbaric fish eaters,” since he is sure humans are responsible for his wife’s death and doesn’t want Ariel to have anything to do with the surface and what goes on there.
Allison Schiller, Monica Brown, Ellen Jenders, Laura Pyler, Clara Cox and Jennifer Dow add their own touches as the king’s other six daughters.
Kristen Yasenchak is an octopus. She’s the king’s sister and a sea witch. She trades Ariel her human legs for her voice and the mermaid goes to land to seek her prince. Yasenchak is a first-class actor who knows how to wrap the audience around her little finger. You almost wish she would turn into a good witch.
Adding to the cast of characters and doing a super job are Pilot (Dylan Troost), Grimsby (Scott Fuss), Windward (Josh Fisher), Leeward (Briley Gargis), Flotsam (Nick Pelaccio), Jetsam (Alex Dorf) Chef Louis (Asher Dubin) and the ensemble (Sean Watkins, Tom Sweeney and Jonathan Tilkin). Bouquets to Director/Choreographer Scott Michaels and all behind the scenes. The costumes and set are outstanding and the sea creatures seem to come to life.
“The Little Mermaid” continues through Saturday, June 13. Most of the remaining shows are sold out but if you want to see call today (574) 267-8041 or (800) 823-2618 or online at wagonwheelcenter.org.
“West Side Story” opens June 17 and runs through June 27.