Don't be fooled - Little Mermaid is HARD

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October 9, 2012
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We just finished performing this show this past weekend, and let me tell you - it was a difficult run. The kids did "okay", but were very upset because of the difficulty of this show. TONS of music and cues. TONS of set changes. Special lighting effect, sounds cues, lots of costumes, difficult staging requirement - and high G abound and can't really be changed or fixed. Just hope you have some high singing sopranos! Just a lot of stuff to do and take care of.BUT the worst part, was the score. It is nearly impossible to play (I don't know who the arranger was - but they obviously *don't* play the piano. A 3rd of it was hard, a 3rd was very hard, and a 3rd of it was impossible to play. Literally impossible because of the writing. Notes out of the reach of your hands and very difficult cross patterns and runs. You would think they would have "dumbed it down" a bit for the general music market, but they didn't - so be prepared to use the CD). Also, many, many mistakes and typo in the actual score. So spend a day going through it with a fine tooth comb to make sure you are doing it right. I had kids in tears on the first show day - and we were *well* prepared. Lovely show, just very, very hard to pull off in the general music market. sigh.
24 answers

March 4, 2014
We just completed our Little Mermaid Jr show and we needed up selling out and had 4 shows. This was for 1st-5 grade and for me it wasn't hard...maybe imagination just went right with it. I had a fantastic team and we blew through perfectly. I had more compliments stating it was the best musical by far here and the costumes were fantastIc. This has been my favorite so far...

I'm happy to hear it Danielle! How long have you been a musical director? Just wish everyone's had gone as well.

March 4, 2014
This is my 3rd year and have had no experience prior to just a mom who didn't want to see the musicals go away in the only elementary school in our are that does them. The kids begged and I gave in. I am now thinking of doing beauty and the beast jr...would love to see Mary poppins jr. Someday.

February 15, 2014
We are currently at two weeks to go until show week. We've been rehearsing since January, 6-9 hours a week for a total of 40 hours so far. My thoughts if you're considering doing Mermaid: either have a LOT of rehearsal time OR a group of folks willing to help with choreography. I have the latter and it's the only reason we are ready to do full run throughs next week. We would often have 4 rehearsals going on at once and we recorded choreo for the kids to practice at home. I cast a larger number of kids than usual so that there wasn't a lot of overlapping. So for example, the kids in "Les Poissons" weren't in "Kiss the Girl." This also gives more kids the opportunity to shine since there are less kids in each number (except for "Under the Sea" which is almost everyone and is CRAZY fun!). I am also blessed this year with kids who pick up on things QUICKLY! Whew! As for staging, it's tough because you need to decide how 'realistic' you want to be regarding being on the ocean surface and underwater. We've come up with a plan that works just fine--folks know that we're not a broadway production and that we have certain limits!! Last week we finally added in the scene change music and all worked well. Again, I have an incredible group this year that is ON TOP of things and it makes my job a LOT easier. As for music, we use the tracks. With the tracks, the challenge is for the kids to know when to say certain lines as there's a lot of underscoring going on. Even I was thrown off at first!! I had to work with the kiddos to understand that they had to listen for certain 'cues' in the music (a flute playing for example). Rehearsal is KEY. My cast gets their music in early December and we start rehearsals at the beginning of January, so they are told to listen to their CDs over and over! We rented costumes from another poster here and they're incredible (look for University School of Nashville rental if you're interested)! Prop wise there isn't a whole lot needed--lots less than shows I've done in the past. It's as elaborate as you want to make it, much like any other show. All in all, this could have been a nightmare had I not had the help I did. There's no way I could have pulled this off on my own or even with just one or two others unless we had at least three months of rehearsal time. Best wishes as you venture under the sea!! Diana

January 13, 2014
Alan Menken actually DID play piano! But that was only a small part of it. It's definitely easier just to use the accompaniment CD if there's no access to an orchestra (which it would be extremely rare, seeing as this play is usually used for kids in elementary to middle school). It's a very hard show, aside from that; making the effects of mermaids and going from the shore to underwater and the quick set changes without nearly enough music in between. I am taking part in two seperate Little Mermaids currently (yeesh!) and the first one, opening night very soon, it's obviously going to end up very choppy...*sigh*

January 13, 2014
Yeah, but some yahoo rewrote the piano parts I'm sure. Must have been Liberace!!

January 13, 2014
Yeah, it's funny, you'd never really think a song like "Under the Sea" would be so exhausting to your fingers...

January 7, 2013
Hi Spencer, Any pictures to show?

December 3, 2012
Susan, I will have pictures that I can show you after this weekend when we have our press release day. We are located about 40 minutes south of Philly but if you like anything we have here I would be happy to help you get it or if we don't loan our's out to someone before your production then we can probably work out some kind of a rental agreement.

December 2, 2012
I only have 15 children in the show. Any one have costumes they want to share/show me for the Little Mermaid? Anyone in Brooklyn, NY or close?

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