Updated: Sep 21, 2020
"Poor Unfortunate Souls" from Disney's The Little Mermaid
As part of our RCT Musical Theater Virtual Review Series, we take a look at our 2016 production of The Little Mermaid.
Disney Theatrical’s The Little Mermaid is a stage musical based on the animated 1989 Disney film and classic story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen about a mermaid who dreams of the world above the ocean and gives up her voice to find love. With a book by Doug Wright, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, the underwater setting and story about fun aquatic characters premiered on Broadway at the Lunt-Fonatanne Theatre in New York City, replacing another Disney Theatrical production, Beauty and the Beast. The production officially opened on January 10, 2008 and closed on August 30, 2009 after 685 performances and 50 previews.
The RCT Musical Theater Production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid opened on November 11, 2016 and ran for 4 weeks, closing on December 11, 2016. That holiday season in Orange County California, the Rose Center Theater welcomed over 3,500 guests who experienced the incredible talents of April Malina in the title role of Ariel, Zack Zumbek as Prince Eric, and Mary Murphy-Nelson as the evil sea-witch Ursula. Leading the artistic team for this RCT Musical Theater production was Director/Musical Director and King Triton, Tim Nelson, and Choreographers Ashley-Simone Kirchner, Diane Makas, and Jennifer Simpson-Matthews.
In the scene above, Ariel (Malina) goes to meet Ursula (Murphy-Nelson), who presents her with a deal. In the deal Ursula will magically transform Ariel into a human for three days, during which she has to win the kiss of true love from Prince Eric. If she succeeds, she will be human forever; if not, her soul will be long to the evil sea-witch Ursula for all time. In exchange for turning human, Ariel must give up her voice, which will stay in Ursula’s magical nautilus shell until Ariel can win her true love's kiss. Ariel signs the agreement and sings into the shell, after which she is transformed into a human and swims up to the surface, ending Act I.
“Poor Unfortunate Souls” is performed by Mary Murphy-Nelson (Ursula), Rylie Herbel (Flotsam), Brenna Donovan (Jetsam), and April Malina (Ariel).