I Finally Got a Ticket To Be Part of Their World **opinion blog**
This article was published on: 04/23/17 5:50 AM by Mike Minarsky
I didn’t have a ticket.
That was all that I could think about for the past few days after the opening of “The Little Mermaid.” I didn’t have time to go see a play, my schedule is pretty packed like many others. However, I knew I wanted to see this production with all the chatter from friends, postings on social media, and of course my wife who got to see the play this past Thursday evening and heard all that she had to say, and if you know my wife, she doesn’t exactly give high marks to anything unless she felt they truly deserved it. This play, received high praise from her. Now, I was on a mission. I needed a ticket.
I didn’t look for one initially because of my weird schedule. I didn’t think that I could make it, but like most things in life if you want something, you tend to “make time” for it. I crunched my schedule and through GHS Baseball and Softball games on the weekend, I figured the only time that I could actually make it work would be the final performance on Saturday night. Therefore, the “Find Mike a ticket” campaign began with a flurry of calls and posts in the Wolverine Radio groups/pages. I didn’t have much luck. The search expanded to about 10 others with Facebook posts trying to find me a ticket. A Rebecca and a pair of Melissa’s were tagging me online every single time went up, but I was just a little late each time. By late Saturday afternoon, it didn’t look good at all that I was going to see this play that the entire community was raving about. The later it got, the more I wanted to see the show as I felt I was truly going to miss history being made at GHS by Griswold Drama.
Then it happened. It was almost that King Triton himself used his miraculous magical powers to find me a ticket. At 4:54pm I get contacted by a friend who says that his mother in law just canceled and they had an extra ticket available. It was completely unexpected because I felt by that time that I wasn’t going to go and had pretty much resigned myself to that fact. I now had a ticket and I was going to see the show and not going to lie, got a little cocky thinking… just how good can this show be? I have a tendency at times to set the expectations high and sometimes only to get let down because honestly, I set the bar so high, there isn’t anything or anyone that is going to meet that. I arrived at the school, stood in line with hundreds of others and finally got to my seat which was about half way up the auditorium. I had just picked up my new glasses from Dr. Zuckerbraun earlier in the day and I was ready to watch what some people were calling the best show ever put on by Ray Churchill and Griswold Drama.
There’s no reason to write a review of the show, because it was obviously highly successful with the sellouts that it had. But, I am going to tell you what I thought from an entertainment standpoint. My opinion. I think most people like to read a book, watch a movie, look at art, listen to music, or whatever form of art you choose, to help you feel something. I do. I want to be engulfed by the character or the theme and forget everything that is going on around me and everything that is either right or wrong in this world even if it’s just for a couple hours. Watching “The Little Mermaid,” didn’t take long to deliver that as soon as the pit orchestra led by Mr. Kevin Kinsall started to play. I knew at the point, this was serious. Yeah, go ahead and chuckle at my description of stuff, but it just gave it that big performance feel. The entire cast was nothing short of phenomenal. The lead characters of Ariel and Prince Eric had such a personal dynamic that you would have thought that Zach Brown and Sophia Foss were dating in real life. Oh wait, they are. I have to say that when they sang together or during their solos, I got goose bumps. Serious goose bumps. I was buying into everything they were doing as characters and they were believable. These 2 wonderful young performers made me believe that a mermaid could grow legs as a result of a spell put on by the wicked sea squid Ursula and then fall in love. Not to be undone by the powerful voice of the Squid herself (this night being played by Alex Perry) and her 2 minions Flotsam and Jetsam (Gabrielle Saracen and Meghan Davis) who made a regular antagonist look like guppies. Remember what I said about me wanting a show to make me “feel” something… it didn’t stop there. The pairing of Sarah Burkart and Emma Foss as Scuttle and Flounder were excellent together. Scuttle was laugh out loud funny with almost everything that she said or did, SQUAWK!!!! Then… well, then there was Devin Mitchell. “Oh Child” I’m not going to say that he stole the show because at the risk of sounding political it was a complete team effort but Devin Mitchell’s portrayal was amazing. Just being able to stay with his dialect and not slip ONCE was something that was remarkable. The only thing that would have made Sebastian’s character any better is if Mitchell would have all of a sudden gone into one of his trademark human beat box routines during “Under the Sea.” There are so many performers that need mentioning but if I don’t get to you or your child, it’s nothing personal. There’s just too much to talk about. I have to talk about one more performance. Chef Louis, played by Luke LePage. This young man is a comedic genius. His character had me, as well as the entire audience in hysterics. I am sure that you will see him in future Griswold Drama productions.
Almost to the end of the show, I’ve laughed, got a little pissy at Ursula, wanted to get up and dance with some of the tunes that were being performed (but I saved the people around me of THAT visual.) Then one of the final numbers started. It was a song sung by Sophia Foss, Zach Brown, Devin Mitchell, and Jared McShane. It was incredible. Within my wacky range of personal emotions, this number made me… well… yes… cry a little. Shut up, others did to. Real men cry anyway.
This was a High School play, right? If you went into the auditorium thinking that, you didn’t have that inkling when you left. This was a professional production from top to bottom.. and at the top, you couldn’t have a better and more talented person than Ray Churchill. The only time that he will finally get the accolades that he deserves is when he leaves GHS at some point in his career or retirement far down the line and we see what it’s like to not have him here. I heard from a multitude of people that saw the show that this was the very best show that GHS has ever put on, and I heard that from some that have seen them all. I will say that this was the absolute best I have seen at GHS. The Absolute Best.
I didn’t have a ticket. I finally got one. I went and saw a show that I will never forget. There was some amazing talent and not for a High School play, but for any play. Zach Brown, Sofia Foss, Devin Mitchell should be working at Disney as characters through the summers which is of course the time they will have available when not in college classes 🙂 One more thing… Thank you for letting me be part of your world… even for just a few hours. I will not soon forget the visit.