What it’s about: Based on the Disney animated film and hit Broadway production, the show tells the fish-out-of-water tale of Ariel (Alison Woods), a mermaid who wants to spread her fins and live among humans, where “they don’t reprimand their daughters.” The mer-teen’s father is the King of the Sea, Triton (Fred Inkley), who wants to protect his youngest daughter from the evils of the world “up there.” Little does he know that his exiled sister Ursula (Tracy Lore) has a wicked power play in store for the angsty teen Ariel. When Ariel goes out on her own, she falls for the handsome prince Eric (Eric Kunze). With some help from crabby guardian Sebastian (Melvin Abston) and loyal guppy Flounder (Jamie Torcellini), Ariel goes on adventure to find her true love and true voice.
What parents will like: The lavish sets and special effects will impress even the most skeptical adult. Woods, Lore and Abston are the standouts in the musical numbers, which feature all of the favorite songs from the animated films such as “Under The Sea” and “Part of Your World” as well as a few new songs written by Oscar-winning Disney composer Alan Menken. Parents will appreciate that some of the new songs provide much-needed context to the original story. However, the show clocked in at 2 hours and 30 minutes (including a 20-minute intermission), which may be too long for little ones who have early bedtimes.
What kids will like: The youngsters in the audience were captivated to see Ariel in the flesh. Many started to sing along to the songs and most were wide-eyed during the swimming sequences. Even in the film version, Ursula was a shady figure. In the theater version, Lore plays her with verve and venom, as she should, but some toddlers may be a little scared during her scenes.
Good to know: Did you know you could rent a cushion seat so your youngster can get a good view of the stage? Go to the coat check to pick one up for $3 before the performance.
Disney's The Little Mermaid
Recommended ages: All
When: Runs through April 3
Where: Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce Street, Fort Worth
Cost: Tickets start at $44
Info: 817-212-4280, www.basshall.com