Calling Children of all ages! If you haven't already heard the Chanhassen Dinner Theater is bringing the classic Disney movie The Little Mermaid to life. You might ask the question "How does the show compare to the film?" Being a huge Disney fan I have high standards when it comes to anything Disney. This show does not disappoint. As quoted by my seven year old daughter, "don't tell Disney but this show is better than the one in the parks". A high compliment from a little girl who made her parents see the play in the parks over and over again.
Caroline Innerbichler plays the leading role of Ariel, which is no easy task. You must be adorable, silly and adventurous with the voice of angel. I have seen many different actors take on the role of Ariel both in live plays and on the stage in Walt Disney World and let me tell you, Caroline is the best. If you close your eye's it sounds as if you are listening to the movie soundtrack itself. Even when on stage without her voice she captures your attention and makes you laugh.
Prince Eric played by Tyler Michaels gives a great performance as well and has quite a good voice but admittedly does not capture the attention of the little ones in his solo performances. I found myself as well drifting off into space just for a moment. However, when on stage with others, especially Ariel you can't look away. Innerbichler and Michaels have a wonderful chemistry that builds from adoring to lovable. You find yourself swept away by their unique take on how they end up together. And though, some might feel it lacks the dangerous luster in the ending of the movie it brings a sweetness to the ending that think is a welcomed change for the little ones.
Overall, I highly recommend seeing this play at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. The performances by all the cast members are outstanding. The staff on hand at the Chanhassen are kind and helpful and make the children feel like they are a special guest. I may just go back with a few more friends as see it again.
A secret tip: The characters are all around you!