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Splish splash

The Fort Wayne Civic takes the plunge with The Little Mermaid

By Eddie Torres

Fort Wayne Reader


Perhaps the only thing really surprising about a stage version of Disney’s 1989 animated feature The Little Mermaid was that it took so long to arrive, following a host of other adaptations (The Lion King; Beauty & the Beast) to the stage some 20 years after the movie.

Because song-for-song, few Disney musicals boast a sore that seems so made for the stage. Sure, everyone knows “Hakuna Matada,” but try hitting the big notes while singing along to any other song from The Lion King. They don’t quite hook you the way “Under the Sea” or “Kiss the Girl” or Les Poissons” do. That’s one of the reasons that songs from The Little Mermaid soundtrack found themselves competing against each other for Grammys and Oscars and a whole host of other awards back in the day.

The Little Mermaid makes its Fort Wayne Civic debut on Saturday, April 22. The Civic has risen to the challenge of creating Ariel’s underwater kingdom on the stage, but most importantly, the characters, songs, and story audiences love are all here. Ariel (Rebecca Nelson) is as engaging a heroine as ever; Ursula (Kayley Hinen) is as monstrous as villain as ever; and Prince Eric (Billy Dawson) is as… well, he’s as Disney Prince-ish as ever, which means as a character he seems like a perfectly nice guy but just half a step behind his romantic interest in the brains and charisma department. “Under the Sea” duties are handled by Ennis L Brown as Sebastian the crab, Ariel’s companion.


The Fort Wayne Civic Theatre presents The Little Mermaid

Arts United Center
303 E. Main Street

Saturday, April 22 at 8 PM
Sunday, April 23 at 2 PM
Friday, April 28 at 8 PM
Saturday, April 29 — 2 SHOWS! — 2 PM and 8 PM
Sunday, April 30 at 2 PM
Friday May 5 at 8 PM
Saturday, May 6 — 2 SHOWS! — 2 PM and 8 PM
Sunday, May 7 at 2 PM

Tickets: $29 adults; $24 seniors; $17 age 23 and under

Tickets available at the box office; or call (260) 424-5220; or online at fwcivic.org.

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