My family loves attending musicals. We live in Dallas, home to the largest Arts District in the nation, which is pretty cool since when people think of musicals and the arts, they usually think of New York or maybe California. Just another example of how everything is bigger and better in Texas.
Sorry, but you know, it’s a running gag and has to be said.
Anyway, as I said, we are big musical fans. My sister is even studying vocal performance at college and will constantly text me to let me know just what professional female vocalists are doing wrong. Me? Well, I just enjoy singing and dancing and a fun storyline. Especially if that storyline happens to include my favorite Disney Princess of all time.
I know I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog talking about my love for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games and Tolkien, but I feel I’ve only touched on my love for Disney, especially The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid came out the year after I was born, so I literally grew up with Ariel.
My childhood revolved around Disney. My bird was named Belle, my sweet kitty Jazzy was named after Princess Jasmine, but Ariel was always my favorite. I know a lot of girls my age really connect with Belle, and in ways, I do too. I’m a brunette and I think books are super cool, but I always wanted to be Ariel.
For one thing, she’s a mermaid, and come on, who would not want to be a mermaid? I honestly never understood why she would want to leave the ocean, but she’s still the best.
Ariel was never the perfect daughter or the perfect Princess. She’s adventurous, she’s stubborn, she likes to find things out for herself, she’s curious, she’s rebellious, and she follows her heart even when everyone else tells her she’s wrong. Ariel literally swims against the tide. She also never lets anyone or anything stop her from having fun.
Finally, Ariel is just super awkward and adorable. Could any other Princess actually get away with combing her hair with a fork – excuse me, a dingle hopper – at the dinner table, in front of a handsome Prince? I don’t think so.
As soon as I heard that the musical adaptation of The Little Mermaid was heading to Dallas, I wasted no time in purchasing tickets. Long story short: best money I ever spent.
Seeing Ariel brought to life in front of my eyes was nothing short of magical. Unlike the original Broadway production where the mermaids all had tails and “swam” around on roller skates, Ariel and King Triton actually floated across the stage like they were swimming. The set and costumes were beautiful, dazzling, and, not to sound girly here or anything, very sparkly!
Ariel was portrayed by Broadway alum (and a member of the original TLM cast) Chelsea Morgan Stock. She was incredible. I’ll admit I had a hard time warming up to Sierra Boggess. I’m not sure why. Probably because she wasn’t Jodi Benson. But Miss Stock was amazing. Her Ariel was just as adventurous and warm and stubborn and adorable as she’s always been. I especially loved her scenes with Eric Kunze AKA the dashing and dreamy Prince Eric (with an equally amazing singing voice). I’m tempted to say I liked their relationship more in the musical than I did in the movie. Blasphemy, I know, but they were so cute. I don’t want to give away any spoilers for those who haven’t seen the musical, just know that I cried at the end.
There were a few things that they changed from the movie that I would have recommended they left alone. For example, I’m not sure if this is the way it was in the original Broadway production (I know they made a few alterations), but Flounder, Ariel’s best little fish friend, had a huge crush on Ariel! I’m sorry, but I found that odd. My best friend has been trying to convince me for years that the Flounder in the movie had a crush on Ariel and I always told her that she was crazy because A) Flounder is like Ariel’s little brother or maybe even her talking pet and B) HE’S A FISH. But she remained convinced that Flounder was just pining for Ariel the entire movie. I was very reluctant to admit to her that the musical people apparently agree with her.
And after I was done crying my eyes out over the beautiful ending, my family and I went to eat delicious Texas Barbecue.
If anyone should wish to contact me, I shall be in my pajamas, marathoning every Disney movie I own. Especially The Little Mermaid.