Under The Sea: The Little Mermaid Opens Starlight’s 67th Season

Starlight Theatre opened its 67th season of live Broadway entertainment last night with its production of Disney The Little Mermaid, and the girls and I were there to see it happen.

The show runs through June 11, with a total of 8 shows to choose from. Tickets for Disney The Little Mermaid at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14 to $102. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132.  All performances begin at 8 p.m.

Based upon Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless tale of love and nearly 30 years after the beloved animated film was released, Disney The Little Mermaid continues to spark the imaginations of the young and young at heart. The musical tells the story of an adventurous young mermaid who lives in a magical kingdom beneath the sea, yet longs to leave her ocean home and live in the world above. It also features the songs we all know and love, including such favorites as “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the Girl” and the Academy Award-winning “Under the Sea.” Along with the classic songs from the Disney film, the musical contains over a dozen new songs. My personal favorite of these new songs was “She’s In Love,” which showcased the mersisters and Flounder (Flounder was awesome, by the way).

We’ve been fans of the Disney movie for as long as we can remember, and we were so excited to see it live on stage (I was just as excited as the girls were, I’m not ashamed to admit it), and I can promise you, we sang those songs all the way home. (Okay, I did. The girls fell asleep after about five minutes in the car.)

Cast of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo by Mark & Tracy Photography

 

I am always, ALWAYS impressed with the shows at Starlight. They are professional, entertaining, and often, spectacles of color, sound, and energy, and Little Mermaid did not disappoint. The set was actually more sparse than a lot of Starlight’s productions, but it went seamlessly from underwater to the surface scenes and back again.

AND, extra awesome bonus: for this season on, Starlight has two large screens above the stage, so you can see close ups of the actors, even from the far back seats.

Fun fact: the original Broadway cast had Titus from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in the role of Sebastian.

I really felt (and my daughters agreed) that every actor had an incredible singing voice….and you can’t necessarily say that about every show you go to, no matter where or what it is.

Diana Huey in Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo by Mark & Tracy Photography.

 

Jennifer Allen in Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo by Mark & Tracy Photography

 

Next up in the schedule is Mamma Mia! (and I am SO excited)!  Check out the full summer Broadway lineup on KcStarlight.com.

I received two complimentary tickets in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are completely, utterly, undeniably my own.

#KC Starlight Broadway Series: Million Dollar Quartet

I’m so excited to get to experience the Broadway shows at Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre again this summer and review them for you. So. Excited. And it’s already time for the first show!!
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Starlight’s 65th season opens this Memorial Day weekend with the national touring production of Million Dollar Quartet.

Featuring the electrifying music of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash and telling the story of the night in December 1956 when they came together to make rock ‘n’ roll history, Million Dollar Quartet is a Tony Award-winning musical that takes place the decade that Starlight opened its first season. Cool, right?!

Million Dollar Quartet brings to life that legendary night with a compelling tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal, humor and celebration. Its electrifying score features such timeless hits as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “See Ya Later, Alligator,” “Fever,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and more.

million dollar quartet at Starlight

If I’m going to be honest, since our trip to New York City in March, I really expect the best from live productions. Which probably isn’t fair, because well….not everybody makes it to Broadway in NYC, obviously. But just like every other show I’ve been to at Starlight, this one did not disappoint.

The actors were brilliant, their voices, spectacular. And not at all bad to look at. The music, OH the music! CLASSIC. Showstopping. Some of the best sings in rock and roll history, no question. The talent on the stage was INCREDIBLE. It feels like you’re actually watching the four legends together, all with huge personalities and even greater musical abilities, butt heads and make magic with their instruments.

million dollar quartet at Starlight

If you’re looking for something fun to do this Memorial Day weekend, check out the opening show of Starlight’s 65th Broadway season. It really is not to be missed, but it will be gone before you know it.

Tickets for Million Dollar Quartet at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $12 to $92. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132.  All performances begin at 8 p.m.

Production photos by Jeremy Daniel.

I received tickets to the show but was not otherwise compensated, and all opinions are 100% my own.

Summer Theater Series: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I had a date last night. Don’t tell my husband, but he was pretty handsome. And sweet, and charming.

Starlight Theater-Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatI took my oldest to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, the third in this summer’s Broadway series. The show runs through Sunday, July 13, and we were there for opening night.

I had never seen it, but I’m a HUGE Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber fan (the musical geniuses behind Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and many, many other Broadway productions). I also am a big American Idol fan, and the leads, Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, got there career lift-offs on the show (and then met and got married!).

Ace plays Joseph, and his million-watt smile can be seen from the furthest seats, I’m convinced. Diana is the narrator of the story, moving things along with her powerful voice. Together, they tell the story of Joseph, his 11 brothers, and their father Jacob. The brothers are jealous of Joseph, and are annoyed by the dreams he talks about and his dream interpretations, so they throw him in a hole and then sell him into slavery. Because of his superior dream interpreting skills, however, he ends up getting out of jail and working with Egypt’s Pharoah as his right-hand man.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Starlight Theatre

The story is told almost completely through song. In fact, I think Ace Young/Joseph speaks once, and I noticed it because it seemed weird to me after not hearing his speaking voice at all! During the intermission, Henry asked me if it was “just singing”. I told him, yep! Lots and lots of songs. Of course, as you know, I’m a musical nut so I loved it. Unlike most Broadway musicals, I didn’t recognize any of the songs, but they were catchy and fun and campy (just the way I like them).

The show was also an hour shorter than the first two, coming in at right at two hours, so it was the perfect dinner and theater date night for Henry and I. And as we were leaving, Henry asked me if there were any other plays he could go to with me, so I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed it, too!

You can catch the show through Sunday, July 13. And running July 25th through the 31st, The Sound of Music! Find tickets for both (plus the amazing concerts they have lined up) at KcStarlight.com.

I received two tickets in exchange for this review, but of course, all opinions are 100% my own.

 

Summer Theater Series: We Will Rock You

I grew up on classic rock….Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Tom Petty, Queen. My dad made sure I had an appreciation for the music, quizzing me about band members as we drove down the road, turning up the songs on the radio as loud as was acceptable.

I also grew up a theater junkie with a huge love of musicals. I’m not a strong singer but one of my favorite classes in school was always choir.

I try to instill a love of both the classics and musicals in my kids, purchasing several soundtracks for an upcoming road trip and planning to listen to them way more than the Kidz Bop albums.

This week I got the chance to take my dad to the opening night of We Will Rock You at Starlight Theatre, the second in their summer Broadway Series.

I sang along (in my head) with all of the songs (of course) and teared up (because that’s what I do when I’m moved by the music). The production was a spectacle, as they are at Starlight, the singing amazing. And who doesn’t love the megahits from Queen? (If you don’t don’t tell me because we won’t be friends anymore)

And it was really awesome to share the experience with my dad, who “taught” me how to love the music in the first place.

we will rock you at Starlight Theatre

The actors all have incredible singing voices (especially the two leads, Scaramouche and Galileo. Oh my goodness). The “orchestra” is basically a rock band hidden up above the stage that the audience gets a couple of glimpses of throughout the show, and they’re fantastic and fun to watch when you do get to see them.

The show itself is a modern story of a corporation that has taken over the world (and teenage souls) through social media, and have taken rock music away from them so it’s only a collection of facts gathered by a group of rebels called “bohemians.” Their mission is to find the “dreamer” who can help them recover the last glimmer of the music and the vibe. And the background and anchor of the story is Queen’s timeless album, We WIll Rock You. It’s delightfully campy, full of pop culture and musical references, both old and very recent (there’s even a twerking reference), hilarious and highly entertaining. 

A little bit about the show from Starlight: The iconic sounds of British rock band Queen – with a theatrical twist – will take center stage June 17-22 when Starlight Theatre welcomes the first North American tour of We Will Rock You. Billed as a “rock theatrical,” this hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton has enjoyed a 12-year run in London’s West End, played in 28 countries and entertained more than 16 million people worldwide. 

“This show is all about legend,” book writer Elton explained. “We take the legend of Queen and create our own fantastical story of young kids battling the mighty corporation that wants to suppress their individuality and their love of music. They need a hero who can help them in their struggle, and we have two – the dreamer Galileo and the sassy rock chick Scaramouche. Guess who ends up winning?”

Ruby Lewis in the national tour of We Will Rock You. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Ruby Lewis in the national tour of We Will Rock You. Photo by Paul Kolnik

 

Go see the show. Seriously. I loved it and I LOVE spending an evening at Starlight.

Get tickets for the show, We Will Rock You at Starlight Theatre, which runs through Sunday, June 22, for $10 to $95. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132.  All performances begin at 8:30 p.m.

I received two tickets to the show in exchange for my review, but all opinions are 100% my own.