Directed by Francesca Zambello, 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. 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.
|Listen to the Little Mermaid Virtual Opening Night Jan. 10 at 9PM ET|
Sierra Boggess is making 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. She's 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. The remainder of the cast comprises 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.
"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.
The Little Mermaid features songs penned by Alan 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. 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.
Sierra Boggess portrayed Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular. She was seen in the national tour of Les Misérables as well as in regional productions of West Side Story, The Boyfriend and Pirates of Penzance. Boggess also created the role of Binky in productions of Princesses at Goodspeed and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.
Tickets, priced $41.50-$111.50, are available by calling (212) 307-4747 or by visiting the Lunt-Fontanne box office at 205 West 46th Street.
For more information visit Walt Disney Theatricals at www.disneyonbroadway.com.