The Alliance Theatre presents “The Little Mermaid Jr.”
Saturday, Nov. 9 and 23, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.;
Sunday, Nov. 10 and 17, at 2 p.m. (with Behind the Scenes program);
Friday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m.;
Saturday, Nov. 16, at 1 p.m. (with Behind the Scenes program); and Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $12; discounts for groups of 10 or more.
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Ariel, Prince Eric, Flounder, Sebastian the Crab and all the other characters from the popular story and movie are in The Alliance Theatre’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”
Performances are Nov. 9-24 at Mountain View High School, 5775 Spindle Court (behind Glory Days Grill) in Centreville. The musical features 10 adults and 35 students in grades three through 12, and Director Maggie Swan says they’re all really talented.
“We have kids from at least 15 different schools,” she said. “A hundred kids auditioned and we knew right away who’d play which role — they all fit their parts. They work well together, too, and are having a great time with each other.”
The scenes take place on an ocean, in a ship, under the sea, on a beach and in a palace. And the actors will portray mermaids, crabs, fish, sailors, a prince and several princesses.
“The audience will be impressed and touched with the kids’ talent,” said Swan. “They’ll love the colorful costumes, cool lighting and neat special effects. And our villain, Ursula — played by Chloe Gilfoil — is pretty scary. It’s a fun story families will enjoy seeing together.”
Playing the title role of Ariel, the mermaid, is Herndon Middle eighth-grader Allie Lytle. “Ariel’s spunky, fun, full of life, adventurous, proud, stubborn and curious,” said Lytle. “She’s in love with the human world and falls in love with a prince, so she asks Ursula, the sea witch, for legs. She gets them; but if by sunset after three days, she and the prince haven’t kissed, she’ll turn back into a mermaid and Ursula can keep her soul.”
Lytle’s loved the movie since age three, so was “excited and overjoyed” to get this role. “It’s a dream come true for me,” she said. “Ariel risks her life for her man, and it’s amazing to play someone you never thought you’d be.” She likes singing “Part of Your World” because it “ties the show together and explains what Ariel’s going to do and how she’ll do it. I also love our big dance number, ‘Under the Sea,’ with all the sea creatures.” Lytle said the audience will appreciate the characters’ personalities and love the music, dancing and costumes. And, she added, “The set will be breathtaking.”
Elijah King, a Robinson Secondary sophomore, portrays Prince Eric. “He’s adventurous, bold and loud, yet controlled and polite because he was raised to be a king,” he said. “He’s also kind and caring. It’s fun playing a Disney prince because you have the freedom to be big and animated. And I like how the cast is all different ages and personalities.”
King’s favorite song is “One Step Closer,” which he sings to Ariel while they dance. “It’s a fast-paced, ballroom dance in which she’s introduced as the prince’s love interest,” he said. King also said the audience will like the show’s message “to be yourself and follow your dreams, because good things happen if you stick with what you want.”
Playing Flounder, Ariel’s best friend, is Poplar Tree Elementary fifth-grader Lila York. “Everything’s new to Flounder because he’s a guppy who’s never been out of the water before,” said York. “He’s friendly, but scared of Ursula and King Triton because they’re bigger and stronger than him.”
“It’s my first lead role; and when I was little, this was my favorite movie, so I always wanted to play Flounder,” she continued. “And it’s fun because I get to wear shoes with wheels in the heels that let me roll across the stage and kind of swim like a fish.”
York likes the song, “She’s in Love,” best because “it’s hip-hoppy and upbeat. I sing it about Ariel.” She said the audience will love the show’s lighting, special effects and blackouts, plus the props, including “a boat on wheels and cool puppets.”
Bryce Nabulsi, a Nysmith seventh-grader, plays one of the chefs who tries to catch Sebastian the crab. “He wanders into the kitchen and we want to cook him,” she said. “I also sing a song called ‘Les Poissons’ — ‘fish’ in French — with three other chefs. I love working with all the other kids and making new friends.”
Nabulsi also likes acting because it lets her “explore being a different person than I actually am. And I can mold my character into something I want it to be, so it’s really interesting.” Noting that “everyone here has a fabulous voice,” she said the audience will enjoy the show’s dynamics and high energy — it’s a fun play and all the songs are entertaining.”