Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

The Little Mermaid

Disney can't win with the critics any more, and even some fans (including this one) had a hard time getting excited about the inevitable stage version of the studio's first animated musical hit of the modern era. But Disney once again scores with its sheer theatrical exuberance and polish. Opera director Francesca Zambello, directing her first Broadway show, goes for charmingly low-tech special effects (the fish "swim" on roller-skate wheelies) and gorgeous, variegated visuals to tell the affecting Hans Christian Andersen story of a mermaid who longs to be human. Ignore the critics, take the kids and don't pretend you're not enjoying it too.