Disney’s underwater Princess makes a splash in Grand Bend
Dive into an underwater adventure this summer! Grab your “dinglehoppers” and “snarfblats” as a splashtacular Broadway musical washes up on stage at Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend. Disney’s The Little Mermaid takes audiences “under the sea” for four weeks only from August 9 to September 2. “Twenty-nine years after the original film was released, Disney’s The Little Mermaid continues to capture the hearts of children and parents alike,” says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. “Summer is the perfect time for families to escape the heat and enjoy this blockbuster musical together. But, parents should act fast – Disney’s Beauty and the Beast sold out in record time last year and Disney’s The Little Mermaid is poised to repeat that high demand for tickets.” Based on the enchanting 1989 Disney animated film, and one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most popular stories, Disn e y ’s The Little Mermaid is a dazzling and fun-filled adventure for the young, and young at heart.
The famous score by eighttime Academy Award-winner Alan Menken, and his long-time collaborator, the late Howard Ashman, features classic songs like “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the Girl” and the Oscar-winning Best Original Song, “Under the Sea”.
The stage adaptation also includes new songs by Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. The book for the musical is by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Doug Wright. Director Jayme Armstrong takes the helm of this muchloved underwater fairy tale following the wildly successful run of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast last season. Armstrong brings an insider’s view to the Director’s chair, having previously played the role of Ariel, among other Disney heroines. Choreographer Robin Calvert creates elegant underwater ballets and exuberant ballroom dances that perfectly capture the two worlds in the story, while Music Director Steve Thomas leads a superb orchestra through the memorable score.
Set Designer David Boechler fashions an ambitious set that beautifully conveys the majesty of the beloved story, including everything from King Triton’s underwater palace to Prince Eric’s castle ballroom. Costume designs by Vincent Scassellati and Kenneth Burrell ensure every character is fit for a fairy tale. Kevin Fraser’s bright and iridescent lighting design complements the set and evokes the magical deep-sea setting. A stellar cast has been assembled for this impressive production including Jessica Gallant as the curious and wilful young mermaid Ariel, who dreams of living in the human world above.
Making her Drayton Entertainment debut in this production, Gallant has played a diverse range of roles at theatres across the country from Anne in Anne of Green Gables at the Charlottetown Festival to Marty in Grease at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres in Toronto. Al Braatz is the sweet and dashing Prince Eric, while Kelly Holiff brings her powerful voice to the role of the tentacley-malevolent sea witch Ursula. Both Braatz and Holiff recently appeared in the popular production Kings & Queens of Country earlier this season. Keith Savage brings his signature enthusiasm and pizzazz to the role of Ariel’s goofy seagull friend, Scuttle. Savage is no stranger to Disney musicals having played Lumire in Beauty and the Beast last season. Aadin Church radiates charisma as Sebastian, the crusty Caribbean crab who is constantly scurrying after Ariel to keep a watchful eye on her. Twelve-year-old Oliver Neudorf from Aylmer, Ontario also makes his Drayton Entertainment debut as Ariel’s best friend and faithful fishy sidekick, Flounder. Anthony MacPherson and Brent Thiessen are Ursula’s delightfully wicked electric-eel minions Flotsam and Jetsam, with Aaron Walpole as the comedic Chef Louis. J. Sean Elliott is Prince Eric’s royal confidante Grimsby, while Kevin Aichele is the mighty King Triton, ruler of the seapeople, and Ariel’s father. Graeme Goodhall, Kayla James, Shelley Kenney, Gray Monczka, Luke Opdahl, Amanda Struthmann, Brett Taylor, Jennifer Thiessen, Margaret Thompson and Christine Watson round out this exceptional cast, appearing as various underwater creatures.
This production also features 28 young local children who perform on a rotating schedule in two groups throughout the run, alongside the professional cast. Drayton Entertainment is pleased to announce the Children’s Chorus for Disney’s The Little Mermaid in Grand Bend:
• Lo isa and Sophie Ne dorf from Aylmer
• Preslee Candy of Bayfield • Molly Colborne of Camlachie
• Carney Brecevic of Chatham
• Samantha G zzo of Delaware
• Isabelle Hazel of Denfield
• Claire Stecho of Exeter
• J lia and Emily Green of Grand Bend
• Marissa Gosse and Rachel McClymont of Ilderton • Jaiden Lehman of Komoka
• Claire Allen-C rry, Maggie Busch, Leah Gliddon, Ava Polcz, Emma Rosboro gh, Jaylynn and Kayleigh Sheeller of London
• Amy and April West of Oakville • La ren Gracey of St. Marys
• Jasmine Melo, Erica Mota, Skylar Serafim and Jennifer Weeks of Strathroy
Disney’s The Little Mermaid is proudly sponsored by Commercial Print Craft Ltd. Media Sponsors are Classic Rock 98.1 in London and The London Free Press. The Design Sponsor is Darlene O`Ro rke Photography. The 2018 Season Media Sponsor is CTV.
Reg lar performance tickets are $46 for adults, $27 for youth under 20 years of age, and $37 for groups of 20 or more and select Discount Dates. HST is applicable to all ticket prices. Disney’s The Little Mermaid r ns A g st 9 to September 2 at Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Huron Country Playhouse, online at www.draytonentertainment.com/little-mermaid, or by calling the Box Office at (519) 238-6000 or toll free 1-855- DRAYTON (3729866).