Before our musical opens this week, I wanted to make sure the public met an amazing young man who is so fun to watch on stage and off. This junior joined the theatre department as a freshman and luckily he hasn’t left! So, what is your name, who do you play in The Little Mermaid?
I’m David Blatz and I play King Triton, more commonly referred to as “Daddy”, within the context of the show.
What brought you to audition for The Little Mermaid?
I sing a lot in the car, and I guess I must’ve thought I was pretty ok, at the time, so I was like “yeah sure I’ll try out, but mostly for characters that don’t heavily rely on singing.” I’ve done a lot of plays, so acting is more my forte, but I was open to trying new things, like trying out for the musical.
Both Ms. Houge and I knew you were talented, but I remember being amazing when you sang for us during auditions. Did you want to be Triton or were you surprised to be cast?
Well, I wanted to be Ariel, Scuttle or Chef Louis, especially Ariel. Being called back for Triton was very surprising to me, I didn’t expect it at all, for I hadn’t particularly shown interest in him, but I was so glad they gave me that chance because, after callbacks, he became my first choice.
I’m glad you like him, you make me cry every time you sing the If Only Quartet. Now, let’s delve into your character. How is this character like you? Different?
I’m actually very similar to Triton, you see, I like to swim kind of. In reality, I do see myself in him; we both care a lot about people close to us, and can be very vocal with our stances on people’s choices. We both make mistakes and instead of complaining about it, we learn from it.
What do you love about this character?
He is such a beautifully flawed character, it shows that even people in places of power make mistakes and that’s perfectly ok. I love that he isn’t a flat character, he grows throughout the show and learns from his mistakes and ends up SO much more open-minded than he was
What do you hate about this character?
I wouldn’t say hate, but I dislike the fact that he is very rash with Ariel sometimes like he really hits her with it, and I’m like, “what if it was YOU?”
What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
Being able to hold my ground and be firm in my stances; Triton is very serious about everything he says and believes, he doesn’t back down. It’s also hard to be underwater, it’s a small element that us merfolk have to pay attention to, but I think it adds so much when done right.
Besides yourself, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?
I can’t just name one, there’s so many; from ensemble members who create beautiful storylines, to soloists who sing with incredible beauty, and also dancers who put so much flair into their movements, there’s a lot of beauty in this show.
Ah, I love that answer, it is so true! Everyone is pretty amazing, aren’t they? Since you gave a shout out to all the actors, can you at least narrow down your choice for this next question? If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?
I really like Sebastian, Chef Louis or scuttle, they are all just such characters and I love playing the weird roles that you can go in so many directions with.
Can you tell us a story from rehearsals?
I have an incredibly quick change where I must go from eel to Triton during the short song “After Under” and one time, earlier in the tech process, I almost completely made it in time without any help, for no one had realized just how little time I had. I did end up a little late, but you win some and you lose some.
And finally, what do you hope the audience will be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
That cast was so unified and they really had fun with this show.
Come see The Little Mermaid this weekend:
Thursday February 7 @ 7pm
Friday February 8 @ 7pm
Saturday February 9 @ 7pm
Sunday February 1- @ 1pm