The Little Mermaid holds a special place in this gay man’s heart. As a young man I was captured by the plucky headstrong Ariel and so may of my peers can sing most of the songs. The live version is coming to Vancouver with the community theatre company Align Entertainment. I asked for details of the production with three of the cast.
Elyse Maloway (Ariel), Damon Calderwood (King Triton) and Colton Fyfe (Prince Eric)
What is a difference between the animated film and the musical?
Elyse: “I love that we get to spend more time getting to know King Triton in the musical. Rather than simply resulting in the Disney trope of an absent parent, the mysterious death of Ariel’s mother is one of the main catalysts for King Triton’s prejudice against humans and it spurs his protectiveness of Ariel when she doesn’t share his hatred of them. We can understand why he gets so angry when he discovers Ariel’s fascination with the human world, and it makes him a much more sympathetic character; you can see that he’s a single dad of seven daughters just trying to make things work… oh and also be king of the sea, which, y’know, is probably a pretty tough job!”
How are you preparing to play your character – let us see into the actors mind?
Damon: “I am giving a lot of thought to how I can be more nuanced in my approach to King Triton, who struggles to raise 7 mermaid daughters without their mother (who was killed years ago). He clashes with Ariel over her desire to interact with humans, and while parts of t the struggle come from a typical teenager coming of age while a parent struggles to cope with making wise decisions, other parts are more fantastical, and so I have to ground it all in reality and avoid stereotype. Easier said than done…but basically I have to keep Triton balanced and grounded.”
Why should people come and see this show?
Colton: “People should see this production of “The Little Mermaid” because it is a very fun and high energy show meant for the whole family. With the great team of Directors, designers and actors we have, we are all working very hard to bring you a high quality show that will leave you humming along in you seats. I truly believe this show will be a spectacle, which shouldn’t be missed.”
What is your favourite part of the show?
Elyse: “It’s so difficult to pick just one favourite part when I love it all! “The Contest” is fabulous, all the Mersisters/Princessess are mind-bogglingly talented! I also adore dancing “One Step Closer”, I think it’s the perfect blend of wonderful choreography and simple playfulness- I’m not a dancer, I’m an enthusiastic mover- and it’s just so much fun! There’s no love song for Ariel and Eric to sing together in this show- for obvious reasons- so this is their duet. Colton does a beautiful job both dancing and singing the melody, and every movement I make is Ariel’s silent harmony, hopefully the audience will hear it!”
Damon: “I love hearing the lovely singers in this show sing — we are blessed with a lot of great singing talent!”
Colton: “My favourite part of the show would have to be the song “One Step Closer”.
Who is the cast member that is the most fun in rehearsal?
Elyse: “Everyone is such a pleasure to work with, but I do particularly love seeing Chris Adams becoming Scuttle, he has a very bird-like laugh in real life, which makes me giggle, and both in character and out, he’s a bright and positive person to be around. Plus, you should see his adorable ‘wiggle when he waddles’!”
Damon: “I think watching our Chef Louis is very fun…played by Matthew Fedorowicz…he has a tour de force song where he tries to cook a crab!”
Colton: “Steven Masson”
For more information about the show check out their web-site: http://www.alignentertainment.ca/
And to find out why Steven Masson is so fun we will just have to go see for ourselves.
The show is directed by Chad Matchette, musical director Brent Hughes, choreography by Melissa Turpin, conductor Brent Hughes, and produced by Patti Volk. The Little Mermaid follows Align Entertainment’s smash hit productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
February 3 to 18. Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 pm.
Matinees on Saturdays / Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: Adults. $39. Students/Seniors/Children $27.
Thrifty Thursdays all tickets $25. Available at www.vtixonline.com
Family Day Matinee February 13th at 2 pm. Pre matinee activities 12 – 1:45pm
All tickets $15, with proceeds to Michael J Fox Theatre Scholarship Fund
School Matinees February 10 and 16 at 12 pm.
Tickets $15, email firstname.lastname@example.org
David C. Jones