JAMIE’S SHOW REVIEW: The Little Mermaid

Like most little girls her age, my five-year-old daughter, Jayda, is obsessed with Disney princesses—especially, Ariel. So when I presented her with tickets to see The Little Mermaid at the Galli Theater this weekend, Jayda was overjoyed. And while it wasn’t exactly the show she had anticipated (this play is a remake of the original Hans Christian Anderson story—and lacks the happily-ever-after wedding of the Disney movie version), Jayda was delighted, nonetheless, by the experience.

The story revolves around the Little Mermaid who, on her 15th birthday, is finally able to swim to the surface of the ocean to learn about life “up above.” There, she saves the life of a drowning prince and falls in love with him. The Little Mermaid’s feelings for the prince are so strong that she strikes a deal with the wicked Sea Witch and exchanges her beautiful voice for human legs. The Little Mermaid is so determined to gain a human soul “from the love of a human” and live on land, that she sacrifices everything for the prince—but, ultimately, never does secure his love (and he marries another princess). But the Little Mermaid does find redemption as she discovers that “every creature who learns to love has a soul…”

Performed in an intimate theater space, this show is enchanting for both kids and adults, alike. The children audience members are seated together on small chairs right in front of the stage, and the show is a completely interactive experience. Throughout the approximately-50-minute performance, my daughter found her way onto the stage at least a half a dozen times—helping to drag the drowning prince to “safety,” dancing with the mermaid, and delighting in a host of other stage experiences. And as I sat in the audience with the other parents and caregivers, I thrilled at the children’s uproarious laughter, and chuckled along at the actors’ creative lines and amusing expressions. From the prince’s exclamation upon meeting the Little Mermaid: “A woman who can’t talk? I like this one!” to the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA” blasting during a dance scene, there was much for adults to enjoy. Best of all, my daughter was thrilled to be a part of such an entertaining show—and left the theater with a wide grin on her face that remained there for the rest of the day.

Performances: June 2-24: Saturday & Sunday at 2pm

Galli Theater
347 West 36th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenue)
New York, NY 10018
Tickets can be purchased via phone at (212) 352-3101 or online at www.gallitheaterny.com.