A love song on Valentine’s Day sparked a romance few could have predicted.
Kyle Rotthoff, a wide-eyed and impressionable 3-year old, developed a crush on Penn State junior Monica Mazel, who dressed as “Little Mermaid” Ariel in the Schlow Centre Region Library’s Downsbrough Community Room.
Mazel sang “Kiss the Girl” with her boyfriend, senior Jesse Small, for about 50 children and their parents as part of the Penn State Thespians’ half-hour-long Disney Love Song Cabaret.
Kyle, whose birthday was Saturday, pulled his mother Jessica Rotthoff to Mazel when the thespians finished their performance.
“I’d say that’s the first time I’ve been openly aware of a child having a crush on me,” Mazel said. “I was very flattered to have the birthday boy have a crush on me. I’m glad my performance was charming enough to have that happen.”
“I heard there’s someone with a crush on her,” Small added. “But it is his birthday, so what can I do?”
Kyle may have been influenced by his family’s recent trip to Disney World, where he and his sister Sara, 4, enjoyed the “It’s a Small World” ride and a princess character breakfast the most.
“We went on that ride five times,” Rotthoff said.
Other children enjoyed the thespians, too.
Evelyn Woolfrey, 3, dressed as Sleeping Beauty.
The thespians asked children if they wanted to join in for the final performance, and Evelyn was one of the first children to stand with them.
“She was telling me she wanted to sing,” a librarian said. “I’d say she’s an aspiring performer.”
Mazel was happy the children got involved.
“I love performing and bringing music into people’s lives,” she said. “It’s a great thing to perform for kids, because it turns into an interactive performance each time. I really think music is also really important for childhood development and for growing as people in general.”
The thespians will perform in the library 2:30 p.m. Sunday with more classic Disney love songs.