little mermaidWhen we speak of this years from now the conversation will be imbued with more than a tinge of nostalgia.

That was the year (we’ll say) that global warming gifted us with an early autumn in the heart of summer: we fell asleep sweating on July 26th and awoke September 27th looking for a sweater. Remember? It was the night we saw The Little Mermaid at The Starlight and it was chilly enough both you girls snuggled into me for warmth the entire second act…

And yes (we’ll chuckle) it was cute how the actor portraying Sebastian channeled his inner Whoopie Goldberg all night. 1 And the way all the characters undulated their bodies —the entire time– as though in a steady current? And the music. And wasn’t Ariel sooooooooooooo pretty! And ooh ooh ooh! The jellyfish! The jellyfish! 2

Yes, that’s right (we’ll sadly acknowledge), that was the last time we went to the Starlight. Remember toward the end of the show when I covered both your heads with my hands? That’s right, that’s what I said – to keep the June bugs from nesting in your hair. There were 9mm June bugs out that night, 3 to 5 of them, flying through the air we knew not where…Um hmm, yes, there was a police helicopter competing with the big battle between King Trident and that wicked, wicked (but oh so fun) Ursula! Yes, it was funny how so many people ran for their cars even before the cast was done singing the last number on stage…

Those were the days, we’ll say.

Those were the days.

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Show 2 footnotes

  1. Okay, let me go on record here and say that, for me? Personally? I’m sooooooooooooo over the whole way-too-smart, loyal black retainer character that humorously – though with just a touch of gentle irony – wisely foreshadows the major plot points of a show all night long. I mean, there’s racism and then there’s racism, amiright?
  2. The jellyfish were damned cool, actually. Far better than the ‘swimming’, which was achieved via the same rigging that allowed Scuttle to fly. Except that Scuttle could keep his legs up, while the show’s ‘fish’ had to sort of let theirs drag uselessly behind: diplegic sea creatures.

5 thoughts on “Brrrrr!”

  1. We were also there Saturday night with our 3 girls and 4 more from their Troop with us. When the shots were fired I saw a couple of other dads do as you did, cover their children’s heads. I was so shocked I didn’t move at first. Who would fire a gun with that many childen around? It didn’t make sense. In the future we’ll stay with the Barn Players – Starlight is not worth the risk

  2. We used to be Starlight subscribers (as well as donors via The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, which we highly recommend to anyone) until a few years ago. After a great performance of Les Misérables our group was accosted by a bunch of juvenile delinquents in that grassy €œparking area € east of the theater. Unfortunate words were spoken and the encounter nearly became physical before Starlight €™s security personnel showed up €“ the little thugs went after my 85 year old mother, possibly thinking to snatch her pearls and other jewelry. We dropped our subscription package immediately afterward, though we still donate.

    Swope Park used to be one of the shining stars in this town. It is a crying shame several inept city administrations, one after the other, have allowed it to devolve into just another unsafe area, a place where even the zoo can be dangerous, where jackals and other curs are allowed to run free instead of being put down.

    1. Did your driver gets you an your posse outta there okay? Nobody hurt or nutjhin? If so, come on back and let’s party you cain’t be as old as you sound.

  3. While we were not panicked by the shots that rang out Saturday night we also will not be returning to the Starlight. The crime in the surrounding area has spiraled out of control the last few years whatever the Mayor’s office and KCPD might say. To us the Starlight security and the regular park’s people were way undermanned. Between Little mermaid and the reunion of (I think it was) Southwest High School, their had to be 10,000 in the park that night – no way were there enough personnel on hand to control even the smallest of altercations, much less something larger. Or gunfire. Mayor James talks a good game but his administration is lacking in follow through. Same with the PD – all they did was send the helicopter over a few times, you noticed there was no ground force police presence when we exited that night – where were the cops? What if whoever was shooting decided to shoot one of the theater goers. Or two or three of them? Not a thing could have been done. No, it’s definitely not worth it to go back.

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