The Concord Players put on a masterful performance of the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid. The excellent cast in combination with a superb pit band are able to create an uplifting and hopeful show that simply make anyone watching feel good. A massive turnout came out for opening night, and they were not disappointed. A splendid mix of humor and A-plus acting served as an excellent tribute to the original Disney version while still letting Concord put its mark on the timeless vintage.
Sarah Wojcik, in her rendition of Ariel, shined through her magical voice that sounded like it came right from the movie. She looked exactly like Ariel. This is her first starring role in a Concord production and she is rising to the moment. It was truly a breakout night for her.
The entire ensemble of cast members were able to put a humorous spin on the show and truly made it their own. Standout stars were Giovanni Malcolm as “Sebastian,” Jake Gladfelter as “Scuttle,” and Michael Slemko as “Grimsby,” all of whom served as great complements to Ariel and Prince Eric. The entire cast rose above the occasional mic issue and showed amazing professionalism in their performance.
Two of the most striking features of the play were the impressive set design and the colorful costumes. Most of the sets were extremely imaginative and really brought the performance to life. The set’s colors complemented the costumes perfectly, which were apt and well-thought out for each individual character. Seeing such impressive design in a high school play is a testament to all the effort that went into producing this musical. Some of the best costumes were those of Ursula, Flounder, Scuttle, and King Triton. These vivid costumes really brought the characters to life and engaged the audience. King Triton’s costume was elegant and regal, perfectly placing Brendan Hart into character.
Perhaps the most enjoyable scene of Act One was the vibrant and fun-filled “Under the Sea” where the stage was full of dancing and singing. The entire cast was on stage, showing off their impressive talent and showmanship. Although led by Malcolm, Ariel's six sisters strengthened the song, with their mellifluous singing and great on-stage presence. Jenna Glazier, who plays Ursula, finished off Act One on a high - albeit negative - note, with a boldly sung “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” The fifteen minute intermission only served to heighten the tension. Ariel's fins are gone, but would she break a leg in the second Act?
Our own quick intermission: The Commendable Little Things
While sometimes small quirks/changes go unnoticed, we noticed these little things that helped bring the performance to a whole other level.
Malcolm and Gladfelter’s accents
Kelsey Wiley's - as Flounder - constant arm flaps
Wojcik's (Ariel) impeccable dab and whip
Act Two was characterized by Sebastian and Scuttle’s attempts to help Ariel thwart Ursula’s plans for her. Gladfelter and Malcolm continued to impress with their comic breaks, exemplified by the opening song of the Act, “Positoovity”. Meanwhile, perhaps the greatest tribute to Wojcik’s performance was her ability to wow even without her majestic voice. Prince Eric - played by Justin Wilson - did an outstanding job to complement a mute Wojcik in Act Two.
Overall, something about this show exuded a contagious happiness and passion. Ultimately, the stars shined but got tremendous support from the rest of the cast and the backstage crew, who gave them fantastic costumes and an equally magnificent set on which to showcase their abilities.
If you’re thinking about going to a movie this weekend, don’t. Spend your money on this fantastic Concord Players production instead, and you will not be disappointed.