Disney’s The Little Mermaid – Musical – The 5th Avenue Theatre

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Disney’s The Little Mermaid musical at The 5th Avenue Theatre starring Diana Huey & Colman Cummings. Directed by Glenn Casale and music directed by RJ Tancioco. Vibrant set/costumes. Quality rivaled the national tour (which I’ve seen twice). It’s times like these that I wish I had kids to bring to the theatre. #Ariel

Synopsis from the Theatre: One of the most successful Disney musicals of all time returns to The 5th Avenue Theatre in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the original film. Ariel, King Triton, Flounder, Scuttle, Ursula, and Prince Eric tell the story of dreams, love, family, and friendship that has delighted generations. Dive under the sea with Ariel and her friends as they sing some of the best-known songs of the last century.

Attended Performance Date: 9/15/23 (Opening Night)

Type: Musical

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: Several

Several or Few Settings/Locations: Several

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: No, but you’d probably enjoy this more if you’re familiar with the original Disney movie.

Defined Plot/Storyline: Yes

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes, there was a glorious orchestra

Equity Actors: All

Total Number of Actors: Too many to count

Perceived Pace of the Show: Medium speed

Length (Including Any Intermission): 2.5 hours

Intermission Included: Yes

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show: No, I’ve attended the national tour production twice

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now: Of course!

Recommendation: See it, especially if you’ve watched the original Disney movie or if you want to show your kids the magic of live theatre (but it’s not just for kids!)

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Aerial Flying Effects: This production included many aerial flying effects to realistically simulate swimming. It must have required some serious core strength and pilates. I don’t remember this much aerial flying in the national tour. I wonder if there’s ever any risk of tangling the cables like in puppetry. Side note, during the show, I wondered how Ariel and Prince Eric unharnessed so quickly between their flying scenes. After reading in the program that Joel Domenico and Megan Felise were Ariel/Eric doubles, it made more sense. Stage magic!
  • “Under the Sea” Song: The bubbles and lights in the audience was a nice touch during “Under the Sea.” However, I was surprised how little costumes of traditional fish appeared in this number.
  • Ursula: Shaunyce Omar was a wonderful choice for Ursula with her inherently rich voice with an attitude.
  • Electric Eels: Cassi Q Kohl and Ethan Carpenter worked well in-sync as Ursula’s minions Flotsam and Jetsam.
  • Costumes: Obviously, as a 5th Avenue Theatre production, the costumes were gorgeous with the vibrant colors and billowing dresses. Ariel’s flowy mermaid dress was designed to also occasionally double as a water splash.
  • Trident Effect: When King Triton wielded his magical trident, the projections shook giving the illusion of the stage shaking.
  • Tap Dance: I don’t remember the “Positoovity” number from the national tour but it was a good artistic decision to include tap dancing in this song since Ariel was just getting used to her legs. I’m always a huge fan of tap dancing in musicals!
  • Scuttle: John David Scott was a delight to watch as Scuttle. I would have liked his character featured more.
  • Favorite Line: “You can’t blame all humans for a few wicked ones.”


  • White Noise: There was weird audio feedback during one of the ship scenes and one of Ursula’s scenes.
Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)

  • Differences from the National Tour: While watching this production, I couldn’t help but compare it to the national touring production I saw twice in Houston, TX.
    • Different Songs: There were some songs missing in this production from the tour and vice versa. For example, this local production didn’t include “I Want the Good Times Back.”
    • Illusion of Water: The mermaid actors in the national tour bobbed their body/arms up and down more to portray the illusion of floating underwater. But I feel like this tour relied more on aerial flying effects, which is more realistic than bobbing. Additionally, the national tour mermaid actors skated more on-stage. However, in this local production, I think only the eels skated and Flounder (played by Keoni Dilay) rode a hoverboard.
    • Flounder’s Age: The national tour flounder was a kid actor, but the 5th Avenue production character was Keoni Dilay who was around the same age as the Ariel actor. I prefer an adult actor for Flounder since it feels weird when a pre-pubescent kid is in love with Ariel. But young audience members probably prefer flounder to be a kid actor. Since the original role was a kid actor, there were unfortunate times in the “She’s in Love” song when Keoni sang an octave lower.
  • Differences from the Movie:
    • Vanessa: Ursula didn’t transform into a human (Vanessa) that sang with Ariel’s voice.
    • Savior: The character who saved the day wasn’t the same person in the movie. I appreciate the modernized messaging to young girls watching the show, but it deviates from the classic Disney story … not that the classic Disney story has been true to the original Hans Christian Andersen tale. I guess we don’t want kids seeing Ariel giving away her tongue and trying to stab the prince!

Theatre Company: The 5th Avenue Theatre

Venue: The 5th Avenue Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: Medium to Expensive

Ticket Affordability Options: $30 day-of-show tickets are available for the general public to purchase in person, starting at noon the day of the show you wish you attend! Valid only in Zones 3 (blue), 4 (orange), and 5 (pink). Goldstar or TodayTix usually offer good options too.

Dates: September 8 to October 8, 2023

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: When I don’t walk to the theatre or park on the street, I park in the paid garage at the Motif hotel NW of the theatre. The entrance is on 5th Ave. Do NOT park in the Hilton garage (entrance on 6th ave). That’s where most of the audience parks, so it’s a nightmare to leave. However, the Hilton garage is the closest garage to the theatre and you can access the theatre underground if you want to avoid the elements. But this benefit is not worth the time wasted leaving in my opinion.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video by Tracy Martin and Mark Kitaoka.

Cast and Production Team: See after pictures and video below

@showsiveseen @Disney "The Little #Mermaid" #musical at @The 5th Avenue Theatre starring @Diana Huey & @Coleman Cummings. Directed by Glenn Casale & music directed by RJ Tancioco. Vibrant set/costumes. Quality rivaled the national tour (which I've seen twice!). It's times like these that I wish I had kids to bring to the #theatre. Photos: Tracy Martin & Mark Kitaoka. Review: showsiveseen.com/6680 #Ariel #showsiveseen #Disney #theLittleMermaid #littlemermaid ♬ Under the Sea – Daveed Diggs & Cast – The Little Mermaid & Disney
John David Scott, Gabriel Corey, Kayden Oliver, Diana Huey, and Jordan King in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
Coleman Cummings and Diana Huey in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s original production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
Cassi Q Kohl, Shaunyce Omar, and Ethan Carpenter in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s original production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
The cast of Disney’s The Little Mermaid at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
Cassi Q Kohl, Diana Huey, and Shaunyce Omar in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.
Jason Weitkamp and Kevin Smith Kirkwood in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s original production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.
Ariel Diana Huey
Pilot Jason Weitkamp
SailorsGabriel Corey
Joel Domenico
Sheldon Henry
Nehemiah Hooks
Kayden Oliver
Prince Eric Coleman Cummings
Grimsby Rob Burgess
Flounder Keoni Dilay
Scuttle John David Scott
King Triton Terence Kelley
Sebastian Kevin Smith Kirkwood
Aquata (Mersister)Nalica Hennings
Andrina (Mersister)Kristin Burch
Arista (Mersister)Carly Corey
Atina (Mersister)Bethanie Willis
Adella (Mersister)Mackenzie Neusiok
Allana (Mersister)Shelby Willis
UrsulaShaunyce Omar
Gulls Gabriel Corey
Jordan King
Kayden Oliver
MaidsKristin Burch
Carly Corey
Megan Felise
Nalica Hennings
Mackenzie Neusiok
Bethanie Willis
Chefs Gabriel Corey
Joel Domenico
Sheldon Henry
Nehemiah Hooks
Jordan King
Kayden Oliver
Princesses Kristin Burch
Carly Corey
Nalica Hennings
Mackenzie Neusiok
Bethanie Willis
Shelby Willis
Ensemble Kristin Burch
Carly Corey
Gabriel Corey
Joel Domenico
Megan Felise
Nalica Hennings
Sheldon Henry
Nehemiah Hooks
Jordan King
Mackenzie Neusiok
Kayden Oliver
Jason Weitkamp
Bethanie Willis
Shelby Willis
Swings Cy Paolantonio
Christopher Sweet
Madison Willis,
Josh Zacher
Flotsam Cassi Q Kohl
Jetsam Ethan Carpenter
Chef Louis Jason Weitkamp
Prince Eric Double Joel Domenico
Ariel DoubleMegan Felise
Scuttle (Understudy) Gabrlel Corey
Ursula (Understudy) Ann Cornelius
Flotsam/Jetsam (Understudy) Joel Domenico
Sebastian (Understudy)Nehemiah Hooks
King Triton/Grimsby (Understudy) Sheldon Henry
Prince Eric (Understudy) Kawika Huston
Chef Louis (Understudy) Jordan King
Flounder (Understudy)Kayden Oliver
Ariel (Understudy) Caitlin Sarwono, Carly Corey
SwingsCy Paolantonio
Christopher Sweet
Madison Willis
Josh Zacher
Dance Captain Josh Zacher
Flight Captain Cy Paolantonio
DirectorGlenn Casale
Music Director/ConductorRJ Tancioco
Choreographer John Macinnis
Composer Alan Menken
Lyricists Howard Ashman & Glenn Slater
Playwright Doug Wright
Orchestrations Danny Troob
Incidental Music & Vocal Arrangements Michael Kosarin
Dance Arrangements David Chase
Scenic Designer Kenneth Foy
Associate Director Michael Heitzman
Charlie Johnson
Costume Designers Amy Clark
Mark Koss
Costume Coordinator Taya Payne
Director of Production Joan Toggenburger
Costume Associate Heidi Zamora
Lighting Designer Charlie Morrison
Associate Choreographer Josh Zacher
Associate Lighting Designer Thorn Michaels
Associate Sound Designer Lawrence Schober
Sound Designer Ed Chapman
Production Manager Ryan Gastelum
Casting Director Dedra D. Woods
Associate Music Director Michael Nutting
Hair/Wig and Makeup Designer Kelley Jordan
Costume, Wardrobe, and Hair Director Shannin Strom
Assistant Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer Juliette Lewis
Production Stage Manager Jeffrey K. Hanson
Assistant Stage ManagersRachael Dorman
Laurel Nichols
Swing Stage ManagerErin B. Zatloka
Flying Sequences Choreographer Paul Rubin
Associate Music Director/Keyboard 1 Michael Nutting
Keyboard 2 Benjamin Bentler
Keyboard 3Rebecca Smith
Bass Chris Jones
Horn Jill Jaques
Trumpet Brian Shaw
Drums Alec Wilmart
Percussion Brian Kirk
Reed 1 Dane Andersen
Reed 2 Koryn Orcutt
Reed 3 Derek Smith
Violin 1 Kimberly Rosenberg
Violin 2 Rachel Nesvig
Cello Emily Hu
Keyboard Coordinator Brendan Hogan
Music Assistant Andrew Pang
Rehearsal Pianists Benjamin Bentler, Michael Matlock

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