Grab your flippers, swimwear and snorkle, as the company of The Lower Ossington Theatre (LOT) will be taking you on an adventure “Under The Sea” in their new production of Disney’s: The Little Mermaid.
Performing from now until December 18th at Randolph Theatre, Bathurst Street, Toronto, the cast and crew of the LOT have brought us a spectacular show that will warm your heart, lift your soul and stir your fond childhood-memories of this classic addition to the Disney hall of fame.
For those people unfamiliar with story of The Little Mermaid, it goes a little something like this. Beneath the surface of the deep, blue ocean and far from any interference of human civilisation, lies the wonderful kingdom of the mermaid ruler, King Triton. A widower for many years now, Triton rules the sea and finds simple joy in the singing voices of his 7 beautiful daughters…especially that of his youngest, Ariel.
But Ariel’s interests and aspirations are not like those of her giddy, self-obsessed and eager-to-please sisters. She spends her days swimming to far-off parts of the vast, watery realm; finding human trinkets littered along the way, which she brings back to place in her dazzling collection.
But simply touching these pieces of human life is not enough for the mermaid, as she yearns to travel to the surface and live life on the land. Her dream starts to fall into place, when one day she rescues a Prince from a ship caught up in a sea-storm. As he lies semi-conscious on the shore, he is mesmerised by her singing voice. Ariel travels back to her kingdom to tell her 2 friends Flounder and Sebastian about her adventures. However, surprised and disappointed by their negative reactions to her tale of this human, she swims off to the dark, desolate kingdom where her Aunt Ursula has been banished.
Ursula promises to give Ariel legs in order to find her Prince and fall in love with him. The only catch is…she must trade her voice to do so. But, as she agrees to this dark deal, she is unaware that Eric is seeking out the beautiful voice of the girl who saved him. With no way to prove their love, Ariel sets out to win Prince Eric over before Ursula returns for her soul in 3 days.
Sound interesting? Sound romantic? Of course it is…it’s Disney. So how did the LOT do in their production of such a well-known classic?
First of all, before I mention any of the cast, I must say a huge “well done” to 3 wonderfully talented members of the crew. Mikael Kangas (Lighting Design), Michael Galloro (Set Design) and Emily Butters (Props Design) all played a major part in bringing this show to life. These three geniuses used every inch of the huge stage to create this magical, realistic and imaginative set. The lighting effects especially gave the audience the feeling of being underwater themselves; from the brightness of Triton’s kingdom to the dark, murky expanse of Ursula’s realm.
As always, the cast of the LOT never fail in delivering a phenomenal performance, and always leave you craving more and more. Kate Suhr took the responsibility of playing the lead role of Ariel in this joyous production, and she turned out to be everything Ariel should be. With her stunning vocal range, graceful choreography and beautiful stage-presence, there was no better candidate to play the loveable, red-headed mermaid.
But, the thing about this production is that every cast member was fantastic. Matt Chenuz played Prince Eric with such passion, staying loyal to the original movie’s character, and Harold Lumilan really owned the role of Sebastian the crab, with his humour filled performance. Mitchell Court accepted double responsibility by taking on the role of not only King Triton but also Chef Louis (one of the movie’s funniest creations), who had the audience in tears of laughter.
But the person who blew the whole audience away was Saphire Demitro in her role as the ruthless, dark sea-witch, Ursula. Saphire had every aspect of her character “down-to-a-T,” portraying her well-known, seductive nature perfectly. And her voice…WOWWWWWW!!! As I sat in the audience with my colleague, I was hoping the folks at Disney studios were aware of Saphire, after their rumoured talks of a live-action remake of the film.
After performing alongside Kate Suhr in the recent production of Mary Poppins, it was wonderful to see how well both of these ladies work together, in creating such theatrical treats and musical magic.
One thing is for sure, The Lower Ossington Theatre company, just get better and better with every production. Each time I think they could not possibly do any better, they pull it out of the bag, and WOW audiences all over again.
So if you want something to raise your spirits, maybe you have a romantic date coming up, maybe you want to treat the kids to a day out, or want to have an memorable experience with friends…well go no further than The Little Mermaid at the Randolph Theatre this December. Performances will continue until December 18th, and tickets can be purchased online by clicking HERE.
Get your seats booked NOW, before they all swim away.
*All production photographs courtesy of Seanna Kennedy*