Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Broadway's The Little Mermaid Gets Wired by Shiki Theater Company (& it looks great)

Mermaid show on land challenge: how do you make a mermaid 'swim' through the air?

For Broadway's various versions of the Disney stage adaptation it's been - oddly - by using 'Heelys' or wheelie sneakers. It's a creative decision that's had a lot of criticism, as no matter how well done everything else was, this particular aspect consistently pulled the audience out of the show.

The Shiki Theater Company in Japan, however, took on the challenge and upped the ante by adding (difficult to manage and execute) wire work to their version of the production. The results? Beautiful! And well worth it. The cast really do look like they are swimming through the air.

While the oddly stiff 'floating hair' cone is a little strange but everything else is so well done, I'm guessing it barely blips the radar for most people.

There's one other key thing about the production, that's helping it to continue having an excellent run, unlike most of it's predecessors. It wasn't only the production aspects of costume and over-the-top set-design that got classier: so did the story. Unlike the original Broadway productions of Mermaid that focused on Ariel wanting to be with Eric, the overhaul included emphasis being put on the single father (Triton) and his wayward daughter (Ariel) and his journey to understanding her and supporting her dreams. It's made all the difference to the show's impact and families (especially fathers) are reportedly walking out with high praises for the show and what a great family experience is was. (It should be noted these main changes are primarily care of Glenn Casales, about whom you can read an article HERE.)

So it's taken a number of years and a number of version but, as many of the articles are fond of saying, it would appear the stage version of The Little Mermaid has finally found it's feet.

Here's clips from the Japanese show, (which has been running for a little while now) set around the song Part Of Your World (oh yes - and that girl - boy can she sing!):
For those interested, you can compare the original English cast scene with this one HERE.

Source: Boing Boing


  1. Looks gorgeous! So glad you're back!

  2. Thanks for posting this. I didn't realize the Broadway show was translated into Japanese. I will admit, the Japanese version is definitely much better. Looks a little cleaner, better outfits and beautiful choreography. It would be neat if the American version would get revamped and some hybrid would be produced. Kind of like the Cinderella. Anyway, awesome post.