BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
WOODS CROSS — There’s a whole new theatrical world underneath these waves.
Woods Cross High’s drama department is inviting everyone under the sea with its upcoming production of “The Little Mermaid,” running Feb. 1-18 at 7 p.m.
“I love fantasies,” said director Janet Cook. “I really wanted to take the kids to that creative, magical place where people can fly under the sea.”
It’s taken plenty of creativity to bring that world to life on a high school stage. Well-known artist Lester Lee painted the backdrops, which include a whale and the city of Atlantis. The costumes are a mixture of the animated movie’s designs and the Broadway musical’s use of formal wear, with bright yellow Flounders next to a Sebastian in a suit.
“I wanted it to be a little more ‘Enchanted,’” said Cook, referring to the Disney movie which was largely set in the real world.
For the headpieces, volunteer Amy Wilson let her imagination run wild.
“She used a lot of clearance stuff from Christmas,” said Tiffany Jackson, another volunteer. This included everything from centerpiece accents to ornaments.
Other costumes get some technical magic. Thanks to harnesses, Ariel really does swim through the onstage ocean. And for those who are humming “Under the Sea” as they read this, rest assured that the blowfish really does blow.
Even the portion of the cast stuck on dry land has a fanciful touch to their costuming. Mitchell Gibb, playing Sebastian’s nemesis Chef Louis, has a bright purple jacket and enormously padded stomach. According to Gibb, the character is just as dramatic.
“I get to have the insane character,” he said. “He’s not normal, so I get to go over the top and think outside the box.”
All of the main characters are double cast, and all non-human characters are each played in one cast by a boy and in the other by a girl. For most of them, memories of the classic Disney cartoon are still strong.
“I try to incorporate a lot of what’s familiar from the movie,” said Ben Butters, playing Sebastian. “But I also try to put my own twist on it, too.”
There will be no shows Tuesday and Wednesday nights. For tickets, call the box office at 801-402-4611 or visit wxhighschool.com.