Davy Jones' Locker: Broadway's Little Mermaid to End Aug. 30; National Tour Planned

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
and Andrew Gans
30 Jun 2009

<I>The Little Mermaid</I> star Chelsea Morgan Stock.
The Little Mermaid star Chelsea Morgan Stock.
Joan Marcus

Disney's lavish Broadway musical, The Little Mermaid, will end Aug. 30 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, but the producer is sending her to wider waters. A national tour will 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 has 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.

There is talk in the theatre community that the Lunt-Fontanne will be the home of the new musical The Addams Family starting in early 2010, but that could not be confirmed at press time.

The Little Mermaid will have played 50 previews and 685 performances by the time it closes.

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).

For tickets to the final 79 performances and information on the show visit www.disneyonbroadway.com or call (866) 870-2717.

All tickets sold for performances Sept. 1 and beyond are fully refundable at the original point of purchase. Tickets purchased via Ticketmaster phones or internet will automatically be refunded. Tickets purchased through any other means (including, but not limited to, the Box Office, as part of a group or a Ticketmaster Outlet), should be returned to the original point of purchase to receive a refund or to exchange for an alternate performance prior to Aug. 30.

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A seagull kick line, an evil sea witch with monstrously sized tentacles and electric-charged villains are just some of the visuals in the underwater fantasy world of mermaids and assorted sea creatures in The Little Mermaid, which officially opened on Broadway Jan. 10, 2008. The newest Disney musical — following Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida, Tarzan and Mary Poppins — played a pre-Broadway engagement this past summer at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, CO. Previews for Mermaid, which is based on the hit Disney film of the same name, began on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Nov. 3, 2007.

Sierra Boggess made her Broadway debut in the title role as the beautiful-voiced Ariel, who longs "to be where the people are" (as the lyric goes), above the water's surface. In the original cast, she was joined onstage by 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; Trevor Braun, Brian D'Addario, Cody Hanford and J.J. Singleton alternating as Flounder; and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Aida veteran Sherie René Scott as the evil sea witch, Ursula.

"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.