Get ready for something a little different. If you know me, you know I’m not generally a fan of musicals. Love music, but for some reason putting it in a theater context really doesn’t click with me. But there have been a few musicals that have won me over. One of them was The Lion King, due to its insane puppetry and visuals, so when I learned that the lead puppeteer also helped in putting together Animal Kingdom’s show, Finding Nemo: The Musical, I thought I’d duck in to check it out.
I was stunned. From the vibrant colors of the aquarium and its inhabitants to the bogglingly huge puppets, I was so captivated by the show that the half-hour performance seemed to whoosh by like a pack of sea turtles in the current.
More notes and pictures after the jump:
-So the story is this. During my first viewing, I sat in the very last row of the auditorium. Knowing they allowed non-flash photography, I thought I’d take a chance and try to see if I could get any closer. Immediately after the show finished, I walked out the door and headed straight for the entrance line, ending up getting a seat in the second row for the second viewing. Though I had to shoot from a fixed point, getting this close for shots was totally worth the repeat viewing and waiting.
-Being this close made me even more amazed at how huge some of those puppets got and the intricacy of their detail. The head of Nigel the Pelican was nearly as tall as the stage itself. Crush the Turtle was like a battalion tank and had a crew operating it at the bottom while voiced by a gentleman on top. The best touch (probably unnoticeable if not at the front) was Gil the Moorish Idol, whose puppeteer even had a string over his face to mimic the scar his fish had.
-The songs were created by Robert & Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who won a Tony for Avenue Q.
-This was a legitimate Broadway-esque performance and the effects and massive puppets were a bit too much for a lot of kids. A good handful of kids left crying in the middle of the performance after some more suspenseful parts. Just a note to parents who may want to check it out.
-I had tons of fun taking pictures here. For those laughing at this post on a kid’s musical, feel free to go alphabetize your vinyl collection to regain your indie cred.