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ETC’s “The Little Mermaid” Stuns at the Silver Center

By Mason Masotta
On February 1, 2019


A more professional quality performance I have yet to attend. This season's performance of “The Little Mermaid” at the Smith Recital Hall was beyond amazing. Upon first walking into the Hall, I became beyond excited about how the stage looked with awesome background scenery designed to fit the underwater theme. Once the show got started, the effects, choreography, and singing itself continued to impress.

The costume design was incredibly flashy in all the right ways, with glittery mermaid tails drawing the eye with every spin and pirouette. Even the distinctions in color were particularly impressive. The villains of the story wear dark greens, greys, and purples, while more heroic characters popped on stage with friendlier blues and reds. It should also be noted that the set design played an incredible role in helping the audience truly believe they were under the sea. Gorgeously painted waves and mobile set pieces brought us into a world unknown.

And then there were the bubbles! I couldn’t help but giggle and grin when bubbles began to fall from overhead onto the front row. I’m not sure if it’s a difficult thing to do or not, but it brought out the childhood nostalgia in me. This was especially true when “Under the Sea” played. Who am I kidding? Pretty much every song from the 1989 film that played, the audience (and myself) couldn’t help but sing along with.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear a few completely new works that had a more stage inspired aesthetic and beat included in the show. It might be nostalgia that gets people in the door, but its creative surprises that keep them interested and involved.  These newer additions come from Alan Menken with lyrics written by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.

A major consideration should go to the Stepp family who provided the backing for this show to take place. It could easily be seen from the quality of the performance that the necessary funding and assistance was available for the show to be the success that it was.

Keep an eye out for more amazing features to run at Plymouth this semester at the Silver Center. They all seem to top the last with extremely dedicated PSU students and alums leading the charge.

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