Broadway: “The Little Mermaid” - Hilft da noch ein Rettungsring?

Eigentlich war die Sache längst klar. Die Berichte von den Denver-Tryouts vergangenen Sommer und von den Einspielvorstellungen in New York waren durch die Bank flau, Features auf Online-Sites mit Bildberichten zeigten eine Show, die ab 11 Jahren eigentlich nur mit 2 Flaschen Tequila durchzuhalten ist, aber Disney ist Disney, und gerade die Zielgruppe bis 11 ist ihr Geschäft. Die Rechnung präsentierten die New Yorker- und andere Kritiker prompt nach der Premiere, die am 10. Januar 2008 im Lunt-Fontanne Theatre über die Bühne ging.

Beginnen wir mit der positiven Überraschung. Die Associated Press scheint von der Show ganz begeistert zu sein:

You try singing and dancing while wearing a tail. More than a little difficult. Yet “The Little Mermaid”, tail intact, amiably swims along on good cheer and charm.
The long-awaited stage version of the 1989 Disney animated film, which opened Thursday at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, may have a few uneasy moments shoehorning the story in between all that lavish, and some might say unnecessary, underwater spectacle.
Yet forget the overused and now cliche “theme-park” adjective. This musical, buoyed by one of the best Disney film scores and a delightful new leading lady, succeeds as enjoyable family entertainment. And, yes, the sets are big, but then, so is the ocean.

Die London Financial Times ist noch recht freundlich und schreibt:

The Little Mermaid barged on to Broadway this week - and neither sank nor swam. In the cinema, animation allows aquatic stories such as Mermaid or Finding Nemo to dart around with rapidity. But elaborate costumes here, especially for the sea witch and for the whole company in the lilting Caribbean carnivalesque number “Under the Sea”, put severe brakes on the pace. With cramped dancing, an evening that is already a good 40 minutes longer than the movie feels even more stretched.

Nicht ganz so nett amNewYork:

Disney flops “Under the Sea”
Please be advised that this review was not written by a ten-year-old girl.
They were all too busy buying Ariel tank-tops at the gift shop.
The Disney musicals just keep getting worse. We go through the same routine again and again: pick out a trendy director, add a bunch of bland songs to make a 90-minute film into a two-and-a-half hour mishap, recruit some legitimate Broadway singers, and poof! Just like Sweeney Todd slicing his victims to bits, another beloved Disney animated film bites the dust and is turned into a ridiculous corporate-minded spectacle.
How does director Francesca Zambello make an underwater fish community come to life? The lavish set looks like a giant cruise ship, with plastic blue panes that fly up and down alongside two revolving towers. How do the mermaids swim? They hide their legs with jazz pants and glide on heelys, those popular shoes with wheels at the heel. The resulting display looks like an ice-skating show within a Halloween party.


The massive brand power of the beloved
1989 animated feature might make disappointment over the show’s diluted charms irrelevant. But the impression remains that this is a case of winning material hitched to the wrong creative team.
The musical has been somewhat improved since its Denver tryout last summer, with producers making use of the additional time when the planned December New York opening was delayed by the Broadway stagehands strike. Some — but by no means all — of the visual clutter has been stripped back, some of the more mystifying costumes have acquired a little definition, and the show makes considerable gains in intimacy, framed by the Lunt-Fontanne stage. (…)
The overall effect is that of a department store holiday window conjured by some display queen with artistic pretensions and a plastic fetish — rarely of a mysterious world fathoms below. Only when Tsypin’s Plexiglass sculptures are cleared and descriptive detail is left largely to Natasha Katz’s bewitching lighting and Sven Ortel’s video effects does something enchanting begin to happen.

Ganz böse Ben Brantley von der mächtigen New York Times:

Loved the shoes. Loathed the show.
O.K., I exaggerate. I didn’t like the shoes all that much. But the wheel-heeled footwear known as merblades, which allow stage-bound dancers to simulate gliding underwater, provides the only remotely graceful elements in the musical blunderbuss called “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” which opened on Thursday at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater.
A variation on Heelys, a skate hybrid popular among schoolchildren and teenagers who are probably way too old for this production, merblades endow their wearers with the ability to skim hard surfaces with a near-balletic lightness. Unfortunately, a state of lightness is difficult to sustain when you’re being attacked on all sides by an aggressive ocean that appears to be made of hard plastic. (…)
But in a perverse process of devolution “The Little Mermaid” arrives on Broadway stripped of the movie’s generation-crossing appeal. Coherence of plot, endearing quirks of character, even the melodious wit of the original score (supplemented by new, substandard songs by Mr. Menken and the lyricist Glenn Slater) have been swallowed by an unfocused spectacle, more parade than narrative, that achieves the dubious miracle of translating an animated cartoon into something that feels like less than two dimensions.

Clive Barnes von der New York Post:

Rating: * (one, out of four)
AS idle as a plastic ship upon a plastic ocean - with apologies to Cole ridge’s “Ancient Mariner” - that was the aqueous opening of “The Little Mermaid,” Disney’s latest musical ex travaganza to brave the seas of Broadway.
And after that, it was plastic, plastic everywhere, enough to lead you to drink.
Oddly enough, it’s George Tsypin’s settings and Tatiana Noginova’s costumes - with their breathtaking vulgarity and equally breathtaking confidence - that give this “Little Mermaid” a certain flap to its flippers in a sea of almost calculated mediocrity.
At least they showed a decently shipwrecked spirit, with their crazy ship, glistening revolving columns, glassily transparent seascapes and nuttily extravagant costumes, with Natasha Katz’s lighting joining in what seemed an elaborated joke. (…)
The music is sort of perkily lugubrious. One tune - I honestly forget which - reminded me of something from Menken’s “Beauty and the Beast,” and another, the score’s best moment, recalled one of those upbeat kick-arounds by Jerry Herman.
The lyrics fade away either in a miasma of romantic fatuity or a haze of grimly dull jokiness.

New York Daily News:

Kids, especially girls and young women who grew up adoring the movie, will be enchanted by all the bright colors and nonstop motion. But others, including musical-theater lovers, won’t find much satisfaction here.

Washington Post:

Disney’s shimmering movie megahit for the kindergarten set, “The Little Mermaid,” seemed a natural for Broadway, what with its endearing marine-world love story and all that cheerfully animated seafood, fluttering its fins to the steel-drum lilt of “Under the Sea.”
Somewhere out there in the choppy foam, however, the creators of the new stage version that opened last night at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre let the compass slip overboard. In director Francesca Zambello’s confused production — a morass of mechanical characters, syrupy new songs and gaudily irrelevant set pieces — all the warmth and charm of the film manages to get away.

Broadway Grosses via broadwayworld.com

1 Kommentar »

  Schwule, Heten und andere Katastrophen » little mermaid wrote @ Januar 16th, 2008 at 13:28

[…] Kultur-Channel hat ja schon mal eine Zusammenfassung der Kritiken der Broadway-Variante von Arielle. Da bleibt ja nicht mehr viel zu sagen ausser […]

Ihr Kommentar

Abonniere ohne zu kommentieren

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>