As a young child, I had always been a fan of Disney princesses like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle of The Beauty and the Beast, Princess Jasmine of Alladin and of course, Ariel of The Little Mermaid. Among the six, I liked Ariel the most. Why? She’s got a fabulous voice that’s as clear as a crystal, she such a go-getter, she’s the only one who’s a redhead and she’s just like any typical kid—somewhat stubborn. Although I grew up to be looking more like Ursula (the villain in the animated film) because I am fat, I still liked Ariel even up to this day.
In college, during a study research, I stumbled upon the original version of The Little Mermaid written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. To my surprise, the said fairy tale’s real ending wasn’t really that appealing for kids. Just like in most of Andersen’s works, it had a sad ending with the little mermaid turning into foam. It had taken 150 years for Disney to create rather more appropriate characters. Thus, the emergence of lovable characters like Ariel, Prince Eric, Flounder, Sebastian and yes, even Ursula.
Now, kids-of-all-ages will once again have that chance to relive the magic of Disney’s The Little Mermaid as they unfold live onstage with Atlantis Productions. Youngsters will be delighted to know that popular singers Rachelle Ann Go and Erik Santos will be making Ariel and Prince Eric’s characters come to life in their first-ever musical play. By the way, it is the Disney-based characters that will be seen on the play and not the sad ending that Andersen originally had.
When I first heard about Rachelle Ann doing the lead, I couldn’t imagine her fitting in as Ariel. But upon seeing her in full costume as mermaid and hearing her own rendition of Part of Your World, all my doubts suddenly disappeared. One writer even said that the more you see Rachelle Ann, the more she becomes Ariel. The same thing can be said of Erik Santos. Sure, this may be Erik’s first theatrical play—but both singers are natural thespians in their own right according to The Little Mermaid directors Mr. Bobby Garcia and Ms. Chari Arespacochaga. “Once they get on-stage, you will forget that they are the singers you had known for years. They will make you believe you’re transported to the kingdom under the sea,” says Garcia.
I strongly suggest that you see this amazing Broadway musical Disney’s The Little Mermaid with your entire family. I’m personally looking forward to hearing former Star in a Million finalist OJ Mariano as Sebastian, sings the Oscar-winning song Under The Sea, as well as beloved classic Kiss The Girl. It is also important to note that veteran stage actors Calvin Millado will essay the role of King Zeus; former Miss Saigon alumni Jinky Llamanzares will be playing the villain Ursula.
For tickets and other information on Atlantis Productions’ The Little Mermaid, please call 892-7078 or 840-1187.
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