How was your experience?
Visually the production was excellent - very impressive sets and lighting. The only problem was the sound. Cast was composed entirely of middle, junior and HS students From my seat about 10 rows out (stage left) most of these small people didn't project their speaking and singing enough to be clearly heard. Often the music drowned out the actors' voices. Casting was uneven: the character who played Flounder was excellent and might have a successful acting career ahead of her. The student who played Ariel was a pretty redhead (appropriate for the role) but an uninspiring singer. Her best asset was her smile. Not much animation, energy or stage presence. No vibrato, which she must develop if she aspires to be a successful professional singer. I was expecting more from the star of the show. Other girls in the cast had much better singing voices.The actor who played Sebastian had tons of stage presence but SHOUTED every line with no variation, in sharp contrast to the weaker voices of the other actors. For a production of this scope the theater should give the principal actors wireless mics and plug them into the speakers when they do solos and duets. At least the sound would match the great visual experience of this show. I've noticed that in general school musicals tend to have poor sound quality - typically the music is too loud - which is a shame because it's an easy problem to address: good artistic directors spot this quickly and work with their technical crews to optimize vocals and music volume. This is only a community theater and the tickets cost $6 on ($9.00 with Goldstar service fee) so even though I am being hard on some parts of the show - the director's responsibility - overall the event was a great value, I went with a 6-year old who and she loved it, her first exposure to musical theater. There were lots of kids watching and they loved it too. The actors stayed in the lobby for a long time, allowing people to take photographs with and give autographs to the many kids who had seen the show. That was one of the best things about the event.