The Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown offers theater goers a touch of Disney magic in their current production of ''The Little Mermaid.''
The show was composed by Alan Menken, with a book by Doug Wright and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater. This is a children's show, performed by children, but the high production values and energetic production make it a light, tuneful, and enjoyable 90 minutes in a land beneath the sea.
The plot of the show is well known, from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale by the same name. Ariel is the youngest daughter of King Triton, the King of the Sea. One day, a human prince is swept from the deck of his ship, and Ariel saves him, and she falls in love with him, at the same time.
She turns to Ursula, known as the Sea Witch, who tells her she can transform the mermaid into a human, but if the prince hasn't kissed her by the end of three days, Ariel will be translated back to being a mermaid, and will be enslaved to the witch, forever.
There is a small counter plot, concerning Sebastian, who is frequently called a crab, but whose costume makes him seem more of a lobster. Sebastian and his friend Flounder are assigned by the King to keep Ariel out of trouble, so when she moves on land, they come ashore as well, only to fall into the sights of a famous chef who plans to make them into a nice seafood surprise.
The show was directed by Helen Merrill, who has instilled into it all the energy and color we have come to expect from her. Ms. Merrill and her husband Norman have worked together to fill the stage with seascape scenery, as well.
Choreographer Tiffany Wakeley has gotten a lot of movement onto a stage which is often jammed from wing to wing with what seems like a cast of thousands, although in fact I counted 26 principal actors and 24 members of the ensemble. The bright, colorful costumes which translate all those young performers into sea horses and eels and seagulls and an octopus, and all the other creatures of the deep, were constructed under the chairmanship of Pat Anderson and Sally Jaroszynski.
The show was performed with the official compact disc, created by the Disney company which licenses the show. One always misses a live orchestra, but it gave the performers the sense that every time they heard their accompaniment, it would be exactly the same, which must have provided some security.
We don't evaluate the performances of artists younger than college, but we are most happy to share their names with you: In order of being named in the program, they were Taylor Dechow, Michael Earle, Cameron Hurst, Bradley Brown, Sean Dudenhoeffer, Alisha Perrone, Erin Fransen, Taryn Dechow, Lauren Nelson, Laurel Finson, Becca Young, Amie Adams, Bethany Stravato, Katie Jaroszynski, Brea Tota, Hannah Finson, Zander Chase, and Megan Clark.
Also, Mya Lapare, Christina Peppy, Grace Auer, Hannah Doughty, Bethany Stravato, Katie Jarosynski, Brea Tota, Dwain Graham, Ben Swanson, Brittany Miller, Paige Cummings, Mariah Spoon, Emily Johnson, Susan Bowers, Giovana Calamunci, Emma Birt, Mia Brown, Andianna McSkimming, Maddy Dorman, Morgan Tracy, and Courtney Grey.
And also, Donovan Gomez, Kenneth Miller, Sydney Moss, Emily Phelps , Claire Pumford, Kayden O'Neill, Noah Dominico, Courtney Hays, Madelyn Wakeley, Alli Moss, Emma Foley, and Jennifer Bowers. We truly hope we got everyone and we spelled them all correctly.
''The Little Mermaid'' repeats through Nov. 18 at the LBLTJ's own theater, on East Second Street in downtown Jamestown.