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Jun 23, 2016 3:54 PM

Keep an eye out for Ursula as 'The Little Mermaid' opens at Prescott Park on Friday

PORTSMOUTH — This year’s summer show at Portsmouth’s Prescott Park - “The Little Mermaid” - will open Friday at 8 p.m.

With whimsical puppets, colorful costumes and creative staging, the show will run through the end of August.

“It’s simply a story about a girl trying to pursue her dreams like every Disney princess story,” said Scott Severance, who plays Ariel’s father, King Triton.

It’s no easy feat to stage an underwater show on land, but the show’s director, David Kaye, creates an exciting experience for the audience with toe-tapping music and energetic dancing.

“It’s fun. We call it parade dancing because it’s what you would do to get the audience excited with lots of flips and tricks,” said Amanda Giglio, who is the dance captain.

9-year-old Autumn Jacques of Kittery is the youngest in the cast.

“I’m doing a fish, a chef, a lily pad,” Jacques said.

But there’s no question that Ursula the Sea Witch is the audience’s favorite character.

“She’s an awesome character,” said Lane Snover, the woman who’s playing the role. “ She’s not evil. She’s got sass and spunk and defies everybody. Sometimes it gets her in trouble.”

When Ariel makes a deal with Ursula, trading her beautiful voice for a pair of legs, the audience knows she’s doomed. But riding the mermaid’s roller coaster of love and loss makes for the perfect summer musical.

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