Front Row Reviewers

“The Little Mermaid” at The SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre: A Delightful Underwater Shell-ebration

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

Review by Kendra Hanna, Front Row Reviewers

The SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre’s production of The Little Mermaid is a familiar and sand-sational under the sea adventure for the whole family. King Triton’s youngest daughter, Ariel, is enamored of the world above the surface, despite her father’s warnings that humans are dangerous. When the young princess saves a human, Prince Eric, from drowning, she falls instantly in love, and consequently agrees to sign over her voice (and potentially her soul) to the sea-witch, her Aunt Ursula, in exchange for a pair of human legs. If she and Prince Eric share a kiss before sunset three days later, the transformation will be permanent. With the help of her friends, Sebastian, Flounder, and Scuttle, Ariel finds her legs above water even as she must fight against Ursula’s every attempt to thwart her happy ending. Director and Set Designer Chase Ramsey creates a shrimp-ly sensational experience for audiences of all ages. 

The famously finned princess Ariel (Elena Shill) is probably most known for her beautiful voice, and Shill’s portrayal does not disappoint. With soaring vocals and a childlike sense of wonder, this little mermaid captivates as she navigates her place both in the water and on land. Jeff Sundwall (Prince Eric) performs with an alacrity perfectly suited to his role. His performance of the song “Her Voice” is gorgeously haunting. The two leads seem as though they were born to play these parts. 

Shannon Follette delivers a delightfully eccentric depiction of the loveable seagull Scuttle, bringing a smile to my face every time she stepped onstage. Porter McCormick brings the friendly little fish Flounder to life with his playful demeanor, especially during his performance in “She’s In Love.” AJ Nielsen’s extremely stressed Sebastian is a study in the superb. The energy he brings to each scene is palpable and engaging, not to mention his killer vocals. 

Ursula almost didn’t need to steal Ariel’s voice, because Tannah O’Banion has plenty of her own. Her performance of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” is a marvelously powerful rendition. Her sidekicks Flotsam (Braden Clement) and Jetsam (Eliza Dunn) move with a slippery grace perfectly suited to their roles. 
Perhaps one of the best parts of this show is the beautiful vocal balance of the ensemble. In every song, the harmonies weave their ways together, creating a magical effect (thank you to music director Rex Kocherhans).

The ensemble voices in “Kiss the Girl” are delicate when they need to be and swell perfectly along with the emotion of the song. Janessa Ramsey’s choreography is a fun and festive integration into the musical numbers. Kelsey Seaver’s costume design is electrifying, especially that of Ursula and the eels. 
No commentary on this show could be complete without an appropriately effusive appreciation for the beautiful set. Director and Set Designer Chase Ramsey has done an exquisite job with the use of the space. The set pieces that spin to reveal different locations are beautifully thought out and colorfully appointed. The initial entry into the performance space feels as though one is descending beneath the sea into the vibrant kingdom the mermaids and other sea creatures inhabit.  

Whether you are a long-time a-fish-ianado of the original Disney movie, a first-time viewer, or anywhere in between, The SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre production of The Little Mermaid is sure to delight. Swim on over to the SCERA Shell for your adventure under the sea. 

The SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre presents The Little Mermaid by Doug Wright, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.
SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre, 600 South 400 East, Orem, UT 84058
June 7-22, 2024 Mon-Tue-Thur-Fri-Sat, 8:00 PM
Gen. Adm. $14 $12 Reserved B $18 $16 Reserved A $20 $18
Contact:  801-225-ARTS,
SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre Facebook Page

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AlphaOmega Captcha Classica  –  Enter Security Code