Saw my first show in 65.... The number, with its throwback lyrics and synchronized dance routine, is meant to evoke a real “Old Florida feel,” which is how everyone associated with Weeki Wachee describes the place, meaning the Florida of memory and pop culture from varying points between the 1940s and the 1970s, when the state’s tourism industry hit its stride. “When you think of Old Florida, you think of pink flamingoes, racecars at Daytona Beach and the Weeki Wachee mermaids,” said John Athanason, Weeki Wachee’s public relations director, as he showed me around the spring. But in fact, “World by the Tail” and the entire current production of “Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘Little Mermaid’ ” was composed in 1991, when “Old Florida” was already in retreat, and Weeki Wachee was determined to remind Floridians why they should cherish their state’s cultural inheritance of quirky roadside attractions just as much as Disney and the other shiny new super parks of Orlando.
Posted on: Sun, 07 Jul 2013 15:43:05 +0000
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