It turned out that my mom actually had purchased a ticket for me and just not told me. This was a very good thing, because the show was completely sold out. It was an outdoor theater called Tuacahn just outside St. George, Utah (a town we visited solely because this show was playing at this theater that was roughly on our way to more relevant places in Utah).
As I mentioned, it was 105° out, so we were a touch concerned about how warm a theater full of people was going to be, even though the sun would be down by the time the show started. And it was indeed quite warm, but not uncomfortably so. At least, it wasn’t to me… but I tolerate high temperatures better than some other people I could mention. Anyway, it was nice.
So this theater is in the middle of a ginormous red-rock gorge, and back behind the stage at some distance was this tiny little waterfally thing where a trickle of water came down and ended up in a pool. I barely even noticed it at first. But as the overture started playing, the water suddenly increased and started pouring down the channel and into the pool, and then onto the stage. It was so incredibly cool I can’t even describe it. An indoor stage would have a hard time and would have to build all sorts of stupid crap to do something like that. They also used the project-images-onto-spraying-water effect that Disneyland has been making such good use of in the last few years, and it was a fantastic way to convey various underwater scenes and set the mood.
As for the performances… Triton was terrible. He looked good and his acting was all right, but he sang very badly. During the Daughters of Triton number, his wheeled chariot thing fell right over, but the people on stage recovered well. Ursula was great. Her costume was fantastic (though, after the incident with Triton’s chariot thing, we were a little worried about her wheeled octopus getup falling over), and her hair was aaawesome. She performed quite well too.
Ariel was good also, and so was Eric. Flounder, whose actor, according to the program, is 13, was fantastic. He was so cute and he sang so well; I totally loved him. Sebastian was extremely good too. Scuttle was a good performer, but he has no decent songs, so whatevs (though his dancing in one of his crappy songs was great).
Speaking of songs, I think this is definitely the weakest Disney musical. I had watched some scenes from other performances of it on YouTube prior to this and never been terribly impressed, and that was totally borne out in this version. While I think what they did with the story was excellent, the extra songs they wrote to pad it out are just OK at best, and a couple of them were so annoying I wanted to scream. I’ve never been interested, in the past, in picking up the original cast recording, and now I’m even less so.
Under the Sea could have used some better choreography, but Sebastian’s performance made up for the deficiencies. Also, they did some of it in black light and had all the fishy costumes be fluorescent so they’d show up, and that was cool. They made really good use of the black lighting in Les Poissons, too; they made the chase scene sort of slow-motion by having stagehands in black carrying the knives and things Louis “threw” at Sebastian and spinning them as they “flew through the air,” and the effect was really cool.
One thing I really appreciated about this rendition was that they didn’t try to make it kidsy; they didn’t include unnecessary slapstick or any of the cringe-inducing over-the-top attempts at humor that made some parts of Beauty and the Beast so nearly unbearable. Evidently they realized that kids will come to these things no matter what, and that nothing needs to be added to such a popular Disney story to make them enjoy it better.
So, yeah… I don’t think it’s really all that good a show, but I still enjoyed it very much. The staging was extremely well done, especially for such a low-budget production. It was a lot of fun, and I was very glad to go. Oh, did I mention they sent up real fireworks at the end? That was a lovely surprise.
It was about 2315 when the show got out, and the temperature was 91°; I still might have been interested in a swim at the hotel if I hadn’t been so tired. Anyway, today we took a look at Zions National Park, where I hadn’t been in about twenty-two years and which seems really cool. Unfortunately, my dad’s driving SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME, most particularly on twisty mountainous roads, so I spent most of the park clinging white-knuckled to the handle above my head and staring through whichever window looked onto a nice solid cliff or hillside rather than out over a drop.
We took our British guests to the Salt Lake airport earlier today, and went thence to my grandma’s house. And that is where I am now, typing up this entry on the world’s slowest computer that apparently freezes up forever if you try to open gmail on it. So I can’t check my email. But I at least got my Plastic comments answered, so good jobon that. My parents are playing Rook with my grandparents, and when that’s done we’re going to Mostle’s house in Provo. I am so excited to see Mostle’s house!!!!