Hello merfriends! Because my husband is very wise (and knows how to take a hint), I was gifted tickets to see The Little Mermaid Live in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl for my Mother’s Day present. The show was all over Facebook and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to go. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney movies, and one that I literally watched every day after school when it came out on VHS. It is still one of my go to’s, in fact I have it saved on our DVR and I tend to watch it every time the husband is out of town overnight. Because I’m eight (though I do also drink while watching it so that makes me a grown up).
Anyway, the concert was amazing. Seriously, one of the coolest performances I have been to and I loved every minute of it. Even my non-Disney loving, musically trained and employed husband was impressed. It was effin awesome. Here’s my recap, which will not do it justice, so apologies for that in advance. I am really, really hoping that the success of this performance means they will tackle other classic Disney movies (Aladdin! Beauty and the Beast!) in upcoming concert seasons. But for now, here’s a look at The Little Mermaid!
I will be doing a blog post later this summer about my tips for the Hollywood Bowl, but since this was a lease event (meaning not part of the Bowl’s regular season) there were some restrictions as to what could be brought in, namely no outside booze. So we left ample time to make sure we could grab a glass of wine before the show, and luckily the guy at the concessions stand hooked us up.
Also, the hand holding the white wine is Matt’s, not mine! The pre-show for our concert night (we went on Monday, which was the final performance) was just as good as the movie performance. We got to see Brad Kane, who was the singing voice of Aladdin, and Susan Egan, the original Belle on Broadway and voice of Meg in Hercules. Both performed individual numbers and then they dueted on “A Whole New World”. They were both amazing and I was thrilled that they were a part of the show.
I had never been to the Bowl for a movie/concert, though I know they have done them in the past. The concept is super cool: there is a live orchestra onstage playing all of the music from the film and then performers come out and sing the songs live, like a concert (minus the obnoxious singing from the audience). They played The Little Mermaid in its entirety, pausing to introduce the singers and allow for applause at the end of each song. They also added in four songs from the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid since there are quite a few characters (namely Prince Eric) who don’t actually sing in the film.
The highlight of our performance was getting to see the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, sing live. It’s been almost thirty years since The Little Mermaid was released (WTF?) and Jodi is obviously not a sixteen year old girl anymore, but she still killed it.
We also got to see Rebel Wilson sing “Poor Unfortunate Souls” as Ursula and she was hilarious. As I said to Matt, what she lacked in grace and timing, she sure as hell made up for with enthusiasm. And her evil laugh was ridic.
Prince Eric was played by the darling Darren Criss, whom I first fell in love with on Glee. We are going to be seeing him as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in a couple of months, so I was excited to see him live. His voice left me a little underwhelmed, to be honest, but I’m hoping that’s because the Bowl is a notoriously bad venue for singers. But if nothing else, he was adorable, so there’s that.
Another notable performer was John Stamos, who came out with a fake mustache and beret to sing “Les Poissons”. He was so good I didn’t remember to take a picture during his performance. During the credits, the orchestra played what I would think of as an overture, highlights from all the songs, and we were treated to a fireworks show.
The Hollywood Bowl is an iconic landmark in Los Angeles and a venue we try to visit at least once each summer. If you are visiting So Cal in the summer, definitely put it on your must see list. And if you are a Disney fan, keep an eye out for additional film concerts in the future. Given how popular The Little Mermaid was, I am sure there will be more coming our way soon, and I for one, will be at every. single. one of them. We had an amazing night watching The Little Mermaid, there were truly some unforgettable moments. Can’t wait to do it again!