Lopez Studios Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.By Laura & Mike Clark • Apr 16th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Lopez Studios: (Info) (Web)
Industrial Strength Theater, Herndon, VA
Closed April 13th
1:30 with intermission
Reviewed April 11th, 2013
Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. tells the story of Ariel, a mermaid with a beautiful voice, who wishes to be able to live like humans. She has been following and collecting cast-off items to add to her treasure chest. When King Triton forbids his youngest daughter to have anything to do with humans, Ariel flees to the evil witch Ursula who is more than willing to help her, with a few strings attached. There is music, laughter, singing, dancing, and of course, a happy ending.
Lopez Conservatory Program features children from age eight through high school age who do the performing. And while they are busy learning to sing, dance, and memorize their lines, the parents are busy building and painting sets, creating costumes, and handling the behind the scene work to make the show come together. It really is a team effort. Two sets of casts (The Ocean and the Shore) performed the major roles, with the ensemble remaining the same for all performances.
In Thursday’s opening production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. there may have been a bit of opening night jitters, but eventually everyone relaxed. All of the cast looked like they were enjoying themselves and were eager to please. A few minor problems with the set (will the boat ever get put together?) did not mar the enjoyable performance.
Both Ariel and Ursula (Shore Cast) could be heard above the recorded music and had nice voices that could be heard well throughout the staging area. Sebastian the crab, friend to both King Triton and Ariel had some pretty funny shows of emotion and knew how to play to the audience. The chemistry between Prince Eric and Ariel at first may have come across as a bit timid, but as the production continued the two seemed to warm up and their final scene was well done. The choreography to the song “Under the Sea” was wonderful, as was the “Man Overboard!” dramatic sequence.
All of the kids knew their set change assignments and carried them out with skill. There were a couple of occasions where some bottle-necking occurred when the back stage area got a little too full. Just like in the world of Walt Disney however, it all worked out to be a happy ending.
The costumes were nicely created and the creative way that Ariel went from mermaid to just a maid, was performed very well and came across as a surprise. Ursala’s writhing tentacles were also imaginative. The sets were well done and detailed enough to get the point across and to help place the scenes. Overall, this was a fun family show.
After the performance we spoke with Victor Lopez, the Director, and Vocal & Performance Coach of Lopez Studios. The summer production is Fame Jr. with auditions to be held April 20th and May 11th. Participants will be taught about the production with rehearsals taking place at the Lopez Summer Camp.
Next spring, the Conservatory Program will be producing Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Open auditions will be held, with a free prepatory workshop on April 27th. The workshop will include an overview of Millie‘s music and dance styles, and general audition tips. Some cast members will be invited to take part in The Junior Theater Festival held in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2014. The Junior Theater Festival features a competition with other acting conservatories judged by Broadway professionals.
Disclaimer: Lopez Studios provided three complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this article, and also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio web site, which did not influence this article.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/9369.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.