The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title The Little Mermaid
Organization Stand Out Talent
Date(s) of show May 6-22, 2016
Reviewer Sallee Kallenbach
Review The Little Mermaid is actually a very simple story. Mermaid desires to be human, falls in love with prince, goes to evil witch to become human, defeats witch and marries prince. Yet the transition from Disney animation to theatrical stage is anything but simple, and Jennifer Bortz and her Stand Out Talent company have demonstrated a wholehearted splash of ambition with a shimmering cast of thousands. Well, okay, maybe more likely a cast of sixty, but from sailing ship to underwater menagerie, this production had it all: sailors, mermaids, mermen, starfish, lobsters, clown fish, zebra fish, frogs, turtles, seagulls, flamingos and a couple of delightfully phosphorescent jellyfish, all dancing and singing their way across the black-box Tower Theatre in Roseville. Cute-as-a-button Mimi Boss was magnificent as the ethereal Ariel, possessing an out-of-this-world Broadway-worthy voice as she belted such numbers as “Part of Your World” and “The World Above.” She connected marvelously with all the other characters in the play, amidst a ceaseless collection of upbeat songs, elaborate dances, acrobatics and witty repartee.

With a fine, deep baritone voice, ship pilot Kevin Borcz opened the show, accompanied by a robust assortment of seafaring sailors, as they sang the nautical “Fathoms Below.” Jeremy Noonan gave a sober depiction of Grimsby, the royal guardian to Prince Eric, who was played with gentle dignity by Nick Lunetta as he courted Ariel with “Her Voice” and “One Step Closer.” When it came time to unveil the underwater kingdom, Dennis Curry as King Triton was a calm and kindly presence in contrast to his delectably screwy daughters, the Mersisters. Chris Celestin was a hoot as Scuttle the seagull, with his rousing renditions of “Human Stuff” and the tap dance surprise number, “Positoovity.” Jacob Goodyear's Sebastian was a bastion of offbeat comedy as he and Noel Jensen's gentle Flounder raced around land and sea to keep up with the ever-moving Ariel. Madison Bales swished onto the stage as villanous seawitch Ursula in a dazzling black pettiskirt interlaced with tentacles and led lighting, accompanied by her creepy hench-eels Flotsam and Jetsam, played by twins Kale and Cory Coppin. Hilarity ensued as a bevy of farcical Princesses tried to win “The Contest” for Prince Eric’s hand. The highlight and charmer of the show, in my opinion, had to be Jonah Petty's Chef Louis with his outrageously uproarious “Les Poisson” number, complete with a chorus of high-kicking chefs and a hightailing Sebastian, who narrowly escapes becoming the seafood special.

This production seemed to have an infinite count of inventive costumes and wigs, ocean-like lighting effects, projections and scenes. Intricate choreography included ballet, tap dancing, and acrobatic cartwheels and flips. I was particularly struck by the eye candy of alluringly skimpy costumes, including one attractive man who wore a tutu and climbed up one of the infamous Tower Theatre stripper poles during one of the bigger numbers.

This production proved beyond a doubt that the team at Stand Out Talent can take on a huge and multifaceted production like The Little Mermaid and provide a plethora of entertainment for kids and adults alike.

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