Sail Away: Disney's Little Mermaid Ends Broadway Run Aug. 30

By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
30 Aug 2009

The Little Mermaid star Chelsea Morgan Stock.
The Little Mermaid star Chelsea Morgan Stock.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Disney's lavish Broadway musical, The Little Mermaid, plays its final performance at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Aug. 30 at 3 PM. When it closes, the musical will have played a total of 50 previews and 685 performances.

Following an out-of-town tryout at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, Mermaid began previews on Broadway Nov. 3, 2007, with an official opening Jan. 7, 2008. (The show's original opening night was scheduled for Dec. 6, but that date was rescheduled due to the stagehands strike, which stalled the family-friendly musical for nearly three weeks.)

A national tour is expected to launch in fall 2010.

The stage version of the hit animated film borrowed Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's movie songs and added new songs by Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. Opera director Francesca Zambello directed. Tony Award winner Faith Prince had recently stepped into the show as sea witch Ursula, one of the few character who didn't "swim" across the stage on roller-skate-like sneakers.



Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Productions, said in a June 30 statement, "Director Francesca Zambello, our creators, designers and cast conjured a world unlike any Broadway has seen before, and audiences have been captivated by it at every explosive performance. We are tremendously proud of the show and are confident we'll have an excellent summer but it would be fiscally irresponsible to our shareholders to risk operating losses with such a big show in the historically challenging fall months. We are closing the Broadway production to concentrate on the long future life of this title — beginning with next year's national tour and upcoming international productions."

The cast of The Little Mermaid currently features Chelsea Morgan Stock (Ariel), Faith Prince (Ursula), Drew Seeley (Prince Eric), Norm Lewis (King Triton), Rogelio Douglas Jr. (Sebastian), Eddie Korbich (Scuttle), Jonathan Freeman (Grimsby), Tyler Maynard (Flotsam), Eric LaJuan Summers (Jetsam), Robert Creighton (Chef Louis) and Trevor Braun, Major Curda and Brian D'Addario (alternating as Flounder).

"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.

Pulizter Prize winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife, Grey Gardens) wrote the book.

Song titles include "Fathoms Below," "Daughters of Triton," "The World Above," "Human Stuff," "I Want the Good Times Back," "Part of Your World," "Storms at Sea," "She's in Love," "Her Voice," "Under the Sea," "Sweet Child," "Poor Unfortunate Souls," "Positoovity," "Beyond My Wildest Dreams," "Les Poissons," "One Step Closer," "Kiss the Girl," "If Only," "The Contest" and "Finale Ultimo."

The creative team also includes Stephen Mear (choreography), George Tsypin (scenic design), Tatiana Noginova (costume design), Natasha Katz (lighting design), John Shivers (sound design), Angelina Avallone (makeup design), Sven Ortel (projection and video design) and David Brian Brown (hair design). Associate producer is Todd Lacey. Fight director is Rick Sordelet. Technical director is David Benken. Production supervisor is Clifford Schwartz.

Dance arrangements are by David Chase, music coordinator is Michael Keller, orchestrations are by Danny Troob. Music direction, incidental music and vocal arrangements are by Michael Kosarin.

Disney Theatrical Productions is under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

The Lunt-Fontanne box office is located at 205 West 46th Street.

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

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The next tenant in the Lunt-Fontanne will be the new musical The Addams Family, which begins previews in April 2010.