Little Mermaid Composer Menken Appears on "Downstage Center" Dec. 21

News   Little Mermaid Composer Menken Appears on "Downstage Center" Dec. 21 Alan Menken, composer of Broadway's The Little Mermaid, will be a guest on XM Satellite Radio's "Downstage Center" Dec. 21.

The American Theatre Wing and XM Satellite Radio present the interview with the composer on the weekly theatrical show on XM's On Broadway (XM Channel 28). The show plays Dec. 21 at 6 PM with repeat broadcasts Saturday at noon, Sunday at 7 PM and Wednesday at 12 AM (ET).

Menken will chat about his songwriting career and his work on both the animated film and the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid.

The composer is also known for his work on Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast and Disney's "Enchanted," "Home on the Range," "Aladdin" and "Hercules." He recently adapted a musical version of Sister Act (with lyricist Glenn Slater) and is also developing Leap of Faith.

*

Francesca Zambello directs and Stephen Mear choreographs The Little Mermaid. Previews began Nov. 3 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Opening night has been shifted (due to the stagehands strike) to Jan. 10, 2008. "In a magical kingdom beneath the sea," according to Mermaid production notes, "a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she'll have to defy her father — the king of the sea — escape the clutches of an evil sea witch and convince a prince that she's the girl with the perfect voice." The musical is based on both the Disney animated film (written and directed by John Musker & Ron Clements) and the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

Sierra Boggess heads the cast in the title role of Ariel opposite Sherie René Scott as the evil sea witch, Ursula. Also featured are Sean Palmer as Prince Eric, Norm Lewis as King Triton, Tituss Burgess as Sebastian, Eddie Korbich as Scuttle, Jonathan Freeman as Grimsby, Derrick Baskin as Jetsam, Tyler Maynard as Flotsam, Cody Hanford and J.J. Singleton as Flounder.

The ensemble also includes Adrian Bailey, Cathryn Basile, Heidi Blickenstaff (Carlotta), James Brown III, Robert Creighton, Cicily Daniels, John Treacy Egan (Louis), Tim Federle, Merwin Foard, Bahiyah Sayyed Gaines, Ben Hartley, Meredith Inglesby, Michelle Lookadoo, Joanne Manning, Alan Mingo Jr., Zakiya Young Mizen, Betsy Morgan, Arbender J. Robinson, Bret Shuford, Jason Snow, Chelsea Morgan Stock, Kay Trinidad, Price Waldman and Daniel J. Watts.

The Little Mermaid features songs penned by Menken and the late Howard Ashman for the Disney film ("Part of Your World," "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl," among others) as well as 11 new tunes by Menken and Glenn Slater. Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife, Grey Gardens) wrote the book.

Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4747 or at the Lunt-Fontanne box office, 205 West 46th Street.

For more information visit Walt Disney Theatricals at disneyonbroadway.com.