Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Little Merman from the Black Lagoon

Written and directed by Christian Kelty, The Little Merman from the Black Lagoon is a mash up of the 1950's horror film and a classic cartoon fairy tale. A group of scientists travel the Amazon in search of the legendary "Gill-Man," and come face to face with Ethyl the Merman and his friends from "under the lagoon". Christain himself took on the role of the Merman who is curious about life with legs.

Julie (Jenn Gannon) and Richard (Scottie Campbell) were the scientist couple who discovered a merman's hand and wanted to find the evolutionary missing link. Salty was  the captain who steered their course with a tiny ship wheel that conveniently thrust out from his groin. The fourth member on the expedition (Timmy Walczak) was the chauvinistic financial backer of the trip. He was always  putting Richard down and jockeying for dominance. He was most comfortable when holding a weapon. He wasn't interested in research but in manly trophies.

A second story line developed under the lagoon, with the Little Merman, Ethyl, collecting human art and trinkets and arguing with his father. Butch a jerk of a shrimp acted as his conscience, siding with is father's wishes while Angie the angler fish encouraged the merman's more refined and creative wishes with his counsel. The Merman sang much of Part of your World with lyrics reflecting the idea that though life above water has its problems it has to be better than life in the lagoon. Certainly up there they don't reprimand their sons.

I didn't get to see the entirety of the show in this rehearsal but I have to believe that the Merman will one day walk on two legs and I suspect he will meet the researchers. The chauvinist, using a harpoon forced Salty to turn the boat around. I liked the staging of this scene because the actors rotated around Salty as the boat turned making it seem like we all were turning with them. I don't know what path followed. I'll have to see the show to find out.

Later that day I was taking to Pam Schwartz about the names of the characters of the show. 'When I am lost in sketching, I don't always catch such details. She explained that the Merman was named Ethyl. What a strange name for a merman we both thought and then the light bulb went off for us both. Oooooo. Ethyl Merman was a huge Broadway star. There is no business like show business!

Original Art and Set Design by Alexa Busnot and Sam Hazell
Original Puppets Designed and created by David Jordan
Original Score by Atif Shariff
Fri     4/5/2019     6:30pm doors - 7pm Show
Sun   4/7/2019     12:30pm doors- 1pm Show
Thu   4/11/2019   7:30pm doors- 8pm Show
Sun   4/14/2019   12pm doors- 1pm Show
Thu   4/18/2019   7:30pm doors- 8pm Show
Fri     4/19/2019   6:30pm doors- 7pm Show
Mon  4/22/2019   8:30pm doors- 9pm Show (Industry Night)
Thu   4/25/2019   8:30pm doors- 9pm Show

Tickets are:
$20 in advance
$25 at the door
$10 for Monday APRIL 22nd

Doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.
Seating is extremely limited for each show.

The performances will take place in the upstairs bar Stonewall Bar Orlando (741 W Church St, Orlando, Florida 32805.)

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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