Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mermaid Ahoy! at the Hollywood Fish Bowl

The Little Mermaid
In Concert Live to Film
Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood, CA
Monday, June 6, 2016

"Ohmigosh!"  This is what I kept on saying when I heard that Jodi Benson would be singing her iconic role as Ariel at the Hollywood Bowl on June 6.  When the show was first announced for June 3 with Sara Bareilles in the role of Ariel, I didn't rush like everyone else to get tickets.  Don't get me wrong: I like Sara and I'm sure she sang the part well, but her voice isn't what I envision for Ariel at all.  It's just not....Jodi enough.  The tickets sold out quickly, so I wasn't able to get even a cheap price later on.  I figured it just wasn't meant to be.  Then they announced that they had added a third show, and Jodi Benson herself was cast as Ariel.  I about lost my mind at the thought of that and bought myself a couple of tickets as soon as they went on sale.  Granted, I didn't get spectacular seats because they were way, way expensive, but this was my chance, and I just wanted to BE THERE.  Cindy agreed to take my other ticket, and we agreed to meet in Hollywood.  

I arrived at Hollywood and Highland much earlier than Cindy, so I decided to walk over to the Bowl without waiting for her.  While I was waiting to cross the street, I was approached by a woman and her daughter, wondering if I was going to the show.  I guess my Ariel tote bag gave me away.  :)  They were here from out of town, so I agreed to walk with them and we talked about their trip and how much we loved The Little Mermaid.  Once we arrived at the Bowl, we took pictures for each other, and one of all of us so that we could remember each other.  We said our goodbyes as we reached the merchandise stand.
Happy Mermaid Fan

Alessandra, Linda and Sher

Wish I could have been invited to this private party


I bought myself a program and a t-shirt.  As I was walking to find food, I had a message from Linda, whom was trying to get in contact with Ferdie because she needed him to confirm that he was giving his ticket to her.  Many messages were exchanged, and she finally, FINALLY got in touch with him and was able to see the show when the film started.  I got in line to get banh mi for Cindy and me, and APPARENTLY, I'm a door because people kept walking in front of me to get to the bathroom.  The two people behind me laughed every time I pointed it out to them.  Cindy arrived at our seats ahead of me, and I joined her and we prepared for me crying a lot by her giving me a mound of napkins.

Special Opening Guest: Brad Kane - "One Jump Ahead"
Yup, that's the voice of Aladdin!!!  Ooh, that made me happy. The chorus did a great job throughout the show, too.

Brad Kane - "Proud of Your Boy"
This song was cut from the final version of the film, which made Brad sad because he really liked it, and it was Aladdin's song for his mom.  So Brad dedicated to his mom, Sherry.  Aw, that's MY name!  I was familiar with the song because of a special edition CD of "Aladdin" that I own, and it's very nice.  Yeah, I cried.  I mean, he included her name at the end of the song, and that's my name, too, and...oh, here I go again.

Special Opening Guest: Susan Egan - "I Won't Say I'm In Love"
YAY!!!  I heart Susan Egan so very much! Cindy realized that she hasn't watched "Hercules" because she didn't recognize this song, which is sung by Susan as Meg. 

Susan Egan - "Belle"
I love that she was able to sing songs from both of her Disney Princess roles!  I wish that she had sung "Home" instead since the chorus already sang with her, but this one would probably be more familiar to the audience.

Susan said that she was especially lucky because she would get to sing with Aladdin, and posited that Belle and Aladdin would have been a cute couple if he had never met Jasmine.

Susan Egan and Brad Kane - "A Whole New World"
They did little pantomimes as if they were on the magic carpet.  That's what Rudy and I do when we sing the song together!

"The Little Mermaid"

  • The show was enhanced with the Broadway version of the show because some characters didn't have their own songs in the movie.  I did enjoy the orchestra's embellishments, although I don't know if they were from the Broadway arrangement.
  • Jodi Benson's blue dress was perfect and beautiful!  She sang wonderfully, of course, and yes, I cried with happiness.
  • Actual fireworks during "Fireworks""!
  • Ooh, Triton is mad when he sings.I thought that the guy singing "Under the Sea" was Genie on Broadway, but no.  Tituss Burgess played Sebastian on Broadway.  Oh, THAT'S why his voice sounds familiar!
  • I loved Rebel Wilson's black dress with purple sparkles.  Even her hair was Ursula-like.  She was a fun Ursula.
  • Cindy said that she now knows why I love Ariel so much:  it's because I'm so much like her.  Guilty.
  • Intermission?  What?  I understand, though. The opening was a little long, and there were a lot of kids in the audience.
  • Very cool violin solo by Sandy Cameron of "Fantasy on Themes from Disney's 'The Little Mermaid'".  Her outfit was kelp/coral-like, and she danced around the stage.  I would like to go to another one of her performances some day.
  • Darren Criss sang Eric's song from the Broadway rendition, if Eric sang a pop song.  He also played his guitar.  I guess I don't want Eric to sing pop songs, because I wanted to hear the other version of "Her Voice".  But Darren looked great and he sounded great, and I'm really happy for him because he's come full circle from the time that he was first noticed by everyone on youTube.
  • John Stamos was hilarious as Chef Louis.  The mustache he wore made him look like Luigi from Super Mario Bros.  He took Maestro's baton and conducted the orchestra, and even continued after they had stopped playing.
  • I liked hearing other people singing "Ya ya ya" during "Kiss the Girl" with me.
  • That quartet "If Only" is nice, with the different themes being sung.
  • I wish that Jodi would have sung as Vanessa, too, since that's her voice in the movie.

Jodi wore a different dress for the curtain call, and that was pretty, too.  People started to leave, and they missed out on extra special stuff.

Jodi: "For those of you that stayed, we have something special for you!"
Jodi said that her next song was from the musical that she was in, which was how she met Howard Ashman.  I got really excited.  "She's going to sing the song!!!!"

Jodi Benson - "Disneyland" from Smile
My heart!  It throbs!!!

I couldn't remember if this is the same song that is sung after the fireworks and World of Color shows at the Disneyland Resort.  When we were in DCA a couple of weeks later, we realized that the song that Ashley Brown sings is, indeed, the same one, but I didn't recognize it because she only sings part of the chorus.  I wish I could find a cast recording of this song, but it was a flop on Broadway, so there is no OBC.  Instead, I ordered the Howard Ashman version, which is really nice to have, too.

Then the cast joined her on stage again for an "Under the Sea" encore.  I was loving the moment when Darren and Jodi danced like Eric and Ariel did in the movie.  Just...Happiness.

Cindy and I soaked in the magic of the evening, then finally trekked on back to Hollywood and Highland to get to her car and make our way home.

The shell is in Flounder colors!

It was truly amazing and I was incredibly happy.  Thank you, Cindy, for joining me!  Thank you to all of the performers, Howard Ashman, Alan Menken, Walt Disney Records and to the Hollywood Bowl for allowing this event to happen.

A dream has come true.  I finally saw Jodi Benson sing "Part of Your World" live.   

"I don't know when...I don't know how...but I know something's starting right now...."


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