The wait at the Box Office will all be worth it if you get your tickets and queue up at the gates of Canvas Laugh factory to ensure you get good centre seats maybe 3rd row onwards. The kids all by now know the rules of the game and were ready way in advance to catch their seats and pick the centre seats yet close to the aisle so they could see the characters up close. (If you have seen the other 2 plays by the same group then you know that characters enter from all entry and exit points). Even before the play begun my daughter insisted I switch of my cell phone thanks to Vishal’s instructions the last time around instigating the kids to take charge over their parents and man, quite successfully.
The musical, which this team has mastered in creating over time begins with a song that doesn’t set the stage on fire but we didn’t mind it as we were pleasantly surprised. The play begins with Vishal & Marissa playing the narrators of the classic story of Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale ‘The Little Mermaid’. With a balanced cast of adults and children the story begins with Marina the mermaid’s 18th birthday and her wish to go at the surface of the sea to the see the world above. Marina on her 18th birthday asks her father King Neptune, to travel upto the surface only to be refused. Marina with her friend Shelby, the sea turtle and Fernando the lobster still takes on the adventure and falls in love with a prince who is a sailor and looking for love. Marina wishes to meet the prince and trades her voice for legs with the Sea Witch,Esmerelda. She travels upto the shore, meets the prince and just when her magic spell was abut to get over and she needed to return to the ocean the witch arrives and so does King Neptune. King Neptune helps Marina continue to be a human and live happily ever after.
The story is simple and its a classic we’ve all grown up listening over and over again. But its the high voltage drama and the craft of storytelling for kids and even adults that the team at VAIPA has mastered. Larger than life sets, costumes, music and dance that make the story come alive in 75 mins.
The effort & imagination in creating the under water world for kids which is glamourized just enough to make it appealing is what everybody including all the audience we spoke to were enamoured by. Each costume especially Esmerelda’s is proof of the effort, planning and thinking gone through by the team to put this great show together. All the characters of the ocean be it the lobster, turtle, jellyfish were all beautifully executed. Rashmi Ramesh & Neha John’s choreography deserves a special round of applause. Sarosh Nanavaty as Esmerelda, the Sea Witch does spread a dark cloud of fear and evil very convincingly. Shelby, the sea turtle and Fernando the lobster add the right amount of humour to get kids giggling and little cheered up after the Sea Witch gets them sitting on their moms laps.
Marina, The Little Mermaid would have got one more star to their kitty with a tighter screenplay that would hold your attention at all times and not get the kids a wee bit restless in the middle. But despite of the extra 15 mins, I’m recommending that you see it. Especially for the experience of a Broadway style musical for kids, the production - with great costumes, make up and dance. Even if its a classic you’ve heard many a times its the glamour, drama and acting that towers above all
Catch shows of Marina The Mermaid until the 22nd of September at the Canvas Laugh Factory and you can book your tickets at Bookyshow.com HERE