Under the sea!
Narrows Community Theater is presenting “The Little Mermaid,” a favorite story for both children and adults, as part of its Summer Youth Program. The musical is an adaptation of the Broadway show, which is a live action portrayal of the popular 1989 animated feature that featured fan favorite songs such as “Part of That World” and beloved characters such as Ariel, a mermaid who longs to leave the sea and be a part of the human world
Director Stearn Matthews, who is making his NCT debut with this production, thinks it’s very special, especially given its theme. “We can all relate to wanting to belong, and that’s what’s at the core of this story,” he said. “Ariel wants so badly to be part of a world where she feels at home— so much so that she’s willing to risk everything that means the most to her.”
Because it’s such an iconic tale, Matthews and company want to keep the show as true to the source material as possible. “This show is a Classic with a capital C, so there isn’t a whole lot to reinvent,” said Matthews. “When something is so well-crafted and audiences are already familiar with the material, there’s really no need to mess with it. Seeing our show will be nostalgic for adults who are familiar with the 1989 film, and a brand-new experience for kids who haven’t seen it. This material speaks for itself.”
A show like “The Little Mermaid” is filled with fun moments, but for the director, being around the talented people in the production was a great experience for him. “Definitely working with the kids (was a highlight),” he said. “This is my first time directing with NCT, and I had no idea what I was in for when I walked into auditions. Not only have we had an absolute blast in rehearsals, I’m constantly blown away by the level of talent and dedication they bring to each and every rehearsal.”
There are many aspects of the production that Matthews is looking forward to audiences young and old experiencing. “We’ve got beautiful projections designed by Adam Olkin Studios, Patrick Nash’s beautiful set pieces, fabulous choreography by Katie Rose McLaughlin, a wonderful eight-piece orchestra led by our musical director Greg Matteson,” he said. “The list goes on, but I think the thing I’m most excited for people to see are the performances by our wonderful cast.
“We’ve got some really wonderful voices in this cast,” he went on. “The score is classic Disney, romantic, fun, upbeat at times, lush and sweeping at others. Our singers rise to the occasion and then some. Hearing this beautiful score come to life has been one of the greatest joys of this process for me.”
The highlight, according to the director, is the hallmark song of the show. “The biggest number and one of the most well-known is ‘Under the Sea’ as the choreography in that song is astounding,” he said. “I think audiences will really love it.”
It was also important for NCT to produce a show for the entire family. “In addition to ‘The Little Mermaid’ being a story that everyone can relate to, it’s quick-moving, colorful, and totally exciting and it will definitely appeal to all ages,” Matthews said.
Audiences can also expect top notch designs. “This is a huge show for costumes,” he said. “Not only are there lots of different moments, but we’ve got 50 people in the cast! Rita Donohue has been hard at work on them for weeks. The design in general is going to colorful, vibrant and fun. I know I’ve used the word fun a lot, but it’s true. So many aspects of this show are just plain fun.”
“The Little Mermaid” will be performed at the Fort Hamilton Army Base Theatre on Friday August 18 at 8 p.m., Saturday August 19 at 8 p.m., Sunday August 20 at 2 p.m., then Saturday August 26 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday August 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20, seniors and students under 21, and $15, children under 12. For more information, call 718-482 3173 or visit website at www.NarrowsCommunityTheater.com.