Patriot Players Presents: The Little Mermaid

The Mersisters (Helena Badiali) and Flounder (Caeli Coyle) perform “She’s in Love.” Sarah, Molly, Sophia, Claire, Kate

James Wan

Patriot Players performs “Under the Sea,” starring Sebastian (Phillip Scheller).
Ariel (Keira Corcoran) singing
Ursula and the other eel
The Mersisters (Helena Badiali) and Flounder (Caeli Coyle) perform “She’s in Love.”
Sarah, Molly, Sophia, Claire, Kate
The chef and his assistants sing “Les Poissons”

CB East theater club Patriot Players performed its fall musical, The Little Mermaid, on November 18, 19, and 20. With around 70 cast and crew members, the show began preparations in September, leading up to a dazzling presentation on opening night. Children throughout the audience were amazed by the display and excitedly lined up to meet their favorite characters after the show.

Before opening night, cast member Helena Badiali expressed her excitement for the audience with her role as Atina, one of Ariel’s sisters. “A lot of younger kids will come to see it,” she said. “It’s gonna be fun to interact with them.”

The two months spent preparing for the show generated lots of enthusiasm among the cast. Keira Corcoran, who played Ariel, enjoyed “the connections with all the other cast members and crew members.”

Other cast members echoed this sentiment, including Amanda Garvey, who played Jetsam, one of Ursula’s eel minions. Her favorite part of being in the musical was “working with upperclassmen and other people [she’s] never worked with before.” Felix Arnstein, who played a sailor, clam, and frog, also noted the professionalism with high school musicals compared to those of middle school.

There was a mix of nervousness and excitement in the hours before opening night. Felix was the first person to walk on stage in the show, and Helena was worried she might trip because she was wearing Heelys. Meanwhile, Keira still felt nervous despite many years of theater experience. On the other hand, Amanda was eager to play a villain.

“We put a lot of effort into it,” Keira said. “It’s going to be really fun to see how it’s all gonna turn out.”

When it was finally time for the first show, the audience was filled all the way to the back. Many parents brought their younger children to see the musical. Around 7:30, the lights dimmed as the first scene opened with Prince Eric, played by Connor Nace, and his company aboard a ship. After Eric goes overboard, Ariel saves him and falls in love. However, she is reprimanded by her father for being at the ocean surface. In her anger, she goes to Ursula, played by Ari Gelb, and trades her voice for legs—however, this swap is under the condition that she must get Eric to kiss her in three days, or else her soul is Ursula’s. After they fail to kiss within three days, Ursula takes Ariel back to her lair, and King Triton offers to take her place. With the trident, Ursula declares herself the new ruler of the seas, but she is defeated by Eric and Ariel. King Triton has a change of heart and allows Ariel to permanently remain human and marry Eric.

The musical featured 12 songs in total, showcasing the various talent of Patriot Players. Some well-known songs included “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” The upbeat song “She’s in Love,” featuring the Mersisters and Flounder, played by Caeli Coyle, was a favorite of some cast members. The last scene featured a final return of “Part of Your World” with the full cast.

Outside of the hard work put into the songs, the choreography, stage props, and crew also put together a spectacular sight. Ariel and the Mersisters wore Heelys to appear as if they were gliding underwater. In certain scenes, Ariel’s tail moved up and down. When King Triton, played by Declan Corcoran, zapped Ariel’s collection of human items, it fell with a thunderous boom. The dedication even extended to scene changes, such as a stage crew member gliding across the stage after “Under the Sea” to collect floating jellyfish decorations. The spectacle highlighted the hard work of those behind the scenes who helped to make the performance a reality.

After the show concluded with bows, many young children rushed outside into the atrium to meet with their favorite characters, including Ariel, the Mersisters, King Triton, Ursula, and other cast members. The brochures handed out before the show included a section in the back for autographs, creating an even more magical experience.

The younger audience generated excitement for the cast members. Keira’s favorite part of being Ariel was “getting to meet the little kids” after the show. Helena similarly enjoyed “when the kids would gasp at the mermaids,” especially knowing some of them thought the Mersisters were really mermaids.

Outside of being entertaining for both children and adults, the musical also helped support a valuable cause. “We’re granting a wish for a five-year-old girl so that she can go to Disney,” Helena said. The proceeds from the musical went towards allowing the Make-A-Wish Foundation to make the girl’s dream a reality.

Though The Little Mermaid is now over, Patriot Players is now quickly moving on with its next performance, Metamorphoses, which is the student play this school year. Preparations for it begin in December. They will also be preparing for Oklahoma, the spring musical, which will have auditions held in January. Remember to come out and support our Patriot Players!