SELMA – Adam Chavez is teaming up with his sister, Nicolette Andersen, as co-director of the Selma Arts Center’s latest musical, “The Little Mermaid.” Like many children, they grew up watching Disney films and visiting the theme park.
“We’d spend all-nighters the night before our trips since we were so excited. We’d do an entire show in the living room with the soundtrack of like ‘Lion King.’ We love Disney.”
Now, the duo is teaming up to bring the mermaid’s tale to life to share with the next generation of Disney fans. Chavez said he hopes Disney lovers of all ages come to see the musical which continues until May 26. Tickets are $19 adults and $17 students or seniors. Purchase by calling 891-2238, by visiting selmaartscenter.com or at their box office, 1935 High St., Selma.
“Disney has been a huge component of our whole family,” he said. “The cool thing about this show is that this memory I have can be translated to almost every person in the audience.”
“Mermaid” tells the story of Ariel, the youngest of King Triton’s daughters, who longs to travel to the world above the sea surface. After rescuing Prince Eric from a ship wreck, she falls in love and makes a dangerous deal with Ursula the sea witch to be with her new love.
“I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t like mermaids. Kids are going to love this show and hopefully it revives the whole mermaid craze and they’ll be dressing up for Halloween as mermaids after seeing this show,” he said.
Chavez likes that they’re breaking barriers of stereotypes with the portrayal of their characters and hope it sends an empowering message to the children in the audience.
“Ariel doesn’t have to look a certain way. Sebastian doesn’t have to look a certain way. You can be whoever you want to be and that’s pretty liberating for a child to be who they want to be either on or off the stage.”
Parents in the audience may consider a different lesson as they watch King Triton’s overprotective attitude drive Ariel to making risky decisions. Triton may only be trying to protect his daughter, but her yearning to explore life beyond her family’s comfort zone is similar to what many families go through as their children grow up.
“She’s literally lived in a bubble her own life. There’s this whole other world outside that her family hasn’t even viewed,” Chavez said. Exploring new worlds may not literally require leaving home, but being brave enough to accomplish goals, he said.
“A big theme in this story that some miss is you can literally escape your comfort zone or mentally escape your comfort zone. Maybe we don’t all have to leave the Valley, but may we can leave what we’re comfortable with and reach our full potential.”