Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 17, 2014

FMS presents ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger lifestyles editor | Feb 26, 2013
Photo by: VICKI TILLIS/Ledger photo Ariel (Julia Fritz) sings “Part of Your World” as she dreams about becoming a human in Fairfield Middle School’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” set for 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the FMS Cafetorium.

Fairfield Middle School’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” is as colorful and fun as Disney’s animated movie — as it should be since it is based on the movie as well as Hans Christian Andersen’s story.

The entire cast does an excellent job on the musical numbers, which include several of the well-known songs from the movie: “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls, “Kiss the Girl” and more.

Julia Fritz is the perfect Little Mermaid Ariel, with her lovely voice and long brown hair.

Her best friends are the colorful fish Flounder, the comical seagull Scuttle and the concerned crab Sebastian, played by Holly Harward, Olivia Hammel and Hailey Patrick, respectively.

Ariel’s family includes her father, King Triton, played by Aaron Austin, who only wants the best for his daughter, even if it’s not what she thinks is best. She also has six sisters played by Kristin Burnstedt, Kai-Li Diyaljee, Savannah Fleeman, Shado Iseman, Phoenix Haessler and Laurel Hilger. (These six beautiful young ladies also play the six princesses in a singing contest, with the winner to wed Prince Eric.)

Prince Eric, played by Alex Helmick, is the human Ariel falls in love with. His parents Grimsby and Carlotta, played by Matthew McLain and Katy Claman, are ready for him to choose a princess and get married. And his friend, the ship’s pilot played by Mitchel Melvin, offers a bit of advice.

And then there are the bad guys: the scary, wild haired sea witch Ursula, played by Katherine Hull; and her sea snake Flotsam-Jetsam, played by Alex Vice.

Rounding out the cast are Kai-Li Diyaljee as the chef who, along with all her assistant chefs, sings a comical little song “Les Poissons” and chases Sebastian around with a cleaver; Ellie Baker and Abyni Garner as the gulls; and as the merpeople sea chorus: Isabel Allen, Chloe Campbell, Summer Canaday, Roxana Gaona, Tea Harris, Megan Higgins, Ronan Malloy, Katie McLain, Kierra McMurray, Kaitlyn Post and Jacob Scotton.

The costumes are colorful and imaginative. Ariel, the mermaid, wears teal-colored leggings and a sparkly purple top. All the merpeople wear colorful clothes — and you know they’re merpeople because of their fins: bright strips of colorful flowing cloth tied just below their knees.

Scuttle’s costume is very imaginative, from her grey vest with feathered sleeves, white flouncy petticoat over orange and black tights and orange fins on her feet.

You can tell Eric is a prince just by looking at his royal garb, and you can tell Ursula is wicked by looking at her black dress and black feather boa.

The set is simple: the play begins on a ship, constructed of two black benches and the sailors themselves; a bubble machine helps set the underwater scenes as does a large background painted blue; black boxes b ecome places to sit and stand and black benches turned vertically become the showplace for Ariel’s collection of human gadgets.

The stage/set/prop crew include: Kelly Lacey, Ryan Pate, Jenna Wickenkamp, Kylee Marlay and Tabitha Thornton.

Ricardo Gaona and Zaya Garner make up the light crew. Brandon Winkleman is in charge of the sound, and Lily Halley makes up the publicity crew.

The assistant director is Rachel Funkhouser, and the director is FMS teacher and drama coach Tena Nelson.

“The Little Mermaid Jr.” is scheduled to be performed twice: 7 p.m. Thursday and again at 7 p.m. Friday in the FMS Cafetorium, although Nelson said if the weather causes a cancellation, a performance could be moved to Saturday.

Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for students. Activity passes will be honored.

Refreshments will be sold in the FMS lobby during the 10-minute intermission between the two acts. Proceeds will help support the FMS drama program.

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