This year, Ross Petty Productions put on their first production of The Little Mermaid, clearly stating at the beginning of the show that it is not the Disney version. The play takes place in the Toronto harbour where a young mermaid named Angel (played by Chilina Kennedy) is celebrating her 18th birthday, and her first chance to go up to the surface. But Angel doesn’t care for humans like her sisters do; she is focused on cleaning up the garbage the humans dump in the lake. As Angel, her best friend Cory the Clownfish (played by Reid Janisse), and the bossy Shelly the Shrimp (played by Lana Carrillo) swim up to the surface they meet a group of activists, one of which Angel falls in love with. While up there, they find out that their fame-obsessed Aunt Plumbum (played by Dan Chameroy) is about to sign away the harbour to the horrible sea wizard Ogopogo (played by Ross Petty). So, they must travel to Niagara Falls and stop to deal from going through.
The cast of The Little Mermaid was great. Chilina Kennedy and Marc Devigne, as Angel and Adam the activist, were fish-tastic as the lead couple. And although Ross Petty didn’t play the dame of the show this year, he was villainous as ever playing the sea wizard Ogopogo. Nevertheless, Dan Chameroy definitely lived up to the ridiculous part of Aunt Plumbum; a funny and over-the-top character that made the audience burst into laughter.
One thing that was quite surprising this year (in a good way) was the production’s choreography. The Little Mermaid featured Jordan Clark, the winner of season 4 of “So You Think You Can Dance Canada“, as the evil sidekick Eris. In addition to the wicked dancing of Eris, the ensemble had us hooked with their moves too. I think Marc Kimelman did a great job as the choreographer, making the moves inventive and not too exaggerated. The show was well danced and well choreographed.
I truly enjoyed this play and I think The Little Mermaid is a great show for everyone. It is very funny and interactive; kids absolutely love it! They even slip in jokes for the adults (though there weren’t as many Rob Ford jokes as I expected). I have seen many of the past Ross Petty Productions pantomimes in the past and every year they are as funny and cheesy as ever. The Little Mermaid combines the classic story with modern references and hit songs that everyone enjoys. It is a wonderful play that everyone will want to see, and I definitely recommend it.