Dis­ney’s un­der­wa­ter Princess makes a splash in Grand Bend

The Goderich Signal-Star - - Opinion -

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).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.