The Little Mermaid: Diving into this year’s musical


Sureeta Das

Show participants wait in the auditorium for rehearsal to begin.

Everyone thinks of the high school musical as extravagant, energetic, and eye-opening. The outrageous harmonies and outstanding dances make everyone shimmy in their seats. Yet, the entire production cannot happen without the musicality of the cast, the flexibility of the stage crew, and the pure talent of the instrumentalists playing in the pit.

The Little Mermaid is about a mermaid named Ariel, who longs to see the surface. During one of her forbidden visits, she falls in love with a prince on the land. In her quest for human legs, she makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch, Ursula, and puts the sea kingdom in limbo for King Triton to get his daughter back. Originally an 1837 Hans Christian Andersen novel published in Danish, the Disney movie was released in 1989 and aired on Broadway for the first time in July 2007. No matter how ancient the musical and the story is, schools still find the captivating tale of star-crossed lovers to be a magnificent show.

Mr. Hebert will be back again as this year’s director, and Mr. Mendez will function as the producer and conductor. Along with them, Ms. Nickson is the assistant director, Ms. Bizup is the technical director, and Ms. Guzman is the choreographer. Volunteers in the community will assist with making the musical happen this year. 

Auditions and applications came in high numbers this year. For the cast, auditioners were required to sing a one-minute segment of a broadway song, prepare and memorize a monologue, and learn a dance. According to Mr. Hebert, more people have tried out to be on stage this year than in all the years he’s worked here, which shows an impressive growth of interest in the musical. Stage crew also had a surprising number of applicants coming from all the grades, as students were excited to work on the technical aspects of musical production or help backstage. The pit orchestra held auditions and applicants were required to play a section of the song. 

The FM musical is not just a school production, but a big family event. It is so astonishing to see the friendly community during rehearsals each day. Students run into practice with Dunkin Donuts for friends, or constantly crack jokes between rehearsing songs; this is the exciting norm during practice. Members of the production shared that making new friends and doing something they love together is one of their favorite things about the musical season. 

When asking the musical family what they are most excited about, there were varying answers. “It’s going to be fun to find out how to control Ursula’s tentacles,” Quinn Coughlin, a ninth grade stage crew member said. Freshman Michael Sereluca said, “I’m excited to get experience!” The musical provides an amazing opportunity for students of all grades to learn the ins and outs of the big production.

The songs are a special part of each section of the musical. Whether it be the stage crew dancing behind the scenes or the pit rehearsing after school, music is important to everyone in the production. Overall, “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” were pretty popular responses to the question “What is your favorite song from the musical?” Harper Shute, a sophomore who plays Flounder said, “‘Her Voice’ or the ‘If Only’ quartet is my favorite song.” 

The “If Only” quartet is not in the original Disney movie, making it all the more charming. The quartet is riddled with beautiful harmonies and a powerful story in itself. Adding on to this, Alex Qiu, a freshman violinist in the pit claimed, “My favorite songs are ‘Under the Sea,’ ‘She’s In Love,’ ‘Her Voice,’ ‘Act One Finale,’ ‘Positoovity,’ and ‘Daddy’s Little Angel.’” There are so many amazing songs in the musical, it’s difficult to pick a favorite! 

The musical is an important part of many students’ lives. Seeing everyone back together since Spongebob: The Musical has brought smiles to the teachers, students, and families looking forward to The Little Mermaid. The stage crew, cast, and pit orchestra unite to make this year’s musical the best it can be, and what better way than to do it under the sea!