Sunday, April 24, 2016



Imagine if Cinderella were a mermaid, how would she ever get to wear her famous glass slippers?  Now conjure up that courageous girl of the seas, a real mermaid named Ariel.  Put the bravery of one with the pluck of the other and you might create Mariel, the mermaid who wants to be human and have legs, ankles, toes and feet so she can wear glass slippers or Jimmy Choo’s and get pedicures and all those girlie things.

Pantochino Productions has done all that imagining for you in their latest highly original and entertaining offering “Fast Times at Mermaid High” playing in oceans of enchantment at the Milford Center for the Arts weekends until Sunday, May 1.  With book and lyrics by Bert Bernardi, music by Justin Rugg and colorful costuming by Jimmy Johansmeyer, the musical is perfect for a family outing.

Mary Mannix is the adorable mermaid Mariel who wants to leave her home under the sea and finally earn her land legs.  When a sea witch offers her the chance to go to high school and experience being human, lower appendages and all, she runs to grab the chance.  Just like Cinderella has a midnight deadline, Mariel has only seven days to fall in love and be loved in return, otherwise she will become sea foam.

Mermaid High is filled with a bevy of students, not all of them happy to welcome the new kid on the block.  The trio of Jennifers (Shelley Marsh Poggio,
Hannah Duffy and Meg Cardi) are all cheerleaders, but they have no cheer to spare for the newcomer.  Principal Fin (Maria Berte) tries to smooth her way and her friend from under the sea Star(fish), a sweet Jaden Bonfietti-Csvihinka, helps Mariel adjust, while attracting the attentions of Fish Box,  a frying hot Jimmy Johansmeyer.  It’s surfer dude Spicooli, a cool Justin Rugg, who gives her a good shot at sailing his surf board to romance while a vision in purple, Professor Scungilli, a devious George Spelvin, who spells the most trouble for our young wannabe land lubber for disturbing motives of her own.

Others in the cast include Andrea Pane, Cassie Grace, Jaxon Beirne, Hannah Kupson and Justin Cavone.  Songs like “Welcome to the 80’s,” “What You See is What You Get,” “Who Needs a Report Card?” and “The Mermaid Dance” make this a lively look at love on land and sea.

For tickets ($18 online, at door $20), go online to  Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon is cabaret style, perfect for birthday parties and enjoying snacks.  On May 3-4, a 36 hour online-giving event will be held. Help Pantochino win thousands of dollars.  Go to and pledge your help.  Also this is the time to check our their theater camps.

Get your groovy mode on because it’s the 1980’s and you’re invited to jump and jive with joy.

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