BREAKING NEWS: ABC has just joined the lineup of channels brining back the old tradition of doing Live TV musicals. It has just been announced that the channel teaming up with The Wonderful World of Disney will be presenting a live televised production of the beloved classic hit The Little Mermaid. It's scheduled to go live on November 5th, 2019 at 8pm on ABC. In addition, the first of casting has been announced. Headlining this new live production will feature an all-star cast consisting of….
Grammy and Emmy winning and Oscar nominee Queen Latifah as the wicked evil seawitch herself "Ursula",
and Grammy winning singing sensation Shaggy as the sea maestro and caring red Jamaican crap himself "Sebastian".
More casting will announced soon.
THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and the beloved Oscar winning 1989 Disney Animated film of the same. It tells the iconic story of a young mermaid who dreams of life in the world above the sea and takes a sacrifice to win the heart of the handsome prince. With an iconic score by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, it features some of the most beloved songs written for both the screen and the stage including PART OF YOUR WORLD, POOR UNFORTUNATE SOULS, and the Oscar winning UNDER THE SEA. In addition, the live TV presentation will feature the newer songs that were written for the stage musical production written by Menken and Glenn Slater including THE WORLD ABOVE, IF ONLY, HER VOICE, BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS, and more.
With the triumphant of the original 1989 film and Disney making its mark on the Great White Way, Disney on Broadway president Thomas Schumacher was planning to adapt THE LITTLE MERMAID for the stage. After reaching out to the original composer Alan Menken and figuring out many ideas to create the effects of everyone portraying mermaids and fish under the water, Schumacher and team Disney reached out to Francesca Zambello (known for her direction work in the opera). Based on her ideas in the opera, she created the show in a very unique way of no water, no wires, and no flying 15 actors all at once… using translucent materials to create abstract shapes and manipulate light to give the watery illusion. To expand more of the story and to add new music, Menken hired Glenn Slater (who he previously worked on the Disney film Home on the Range) and Doug Wright. In addition, Stephen Mear was hired as choreographer which he came with the idea of having the actors wear Heelys wheeled footwear, dubbed "merblades", while tails on sprung-steel rods, designed by Michael Curry, were attached to their hips.
The show had its world premiere pre-Broadway tryout in Denver, Colorado back in the Summer 2007 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts which it sold out the entire run. From there, it officially arrived on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in Christmas of that same year where it ran for 50 previews and 685 regular performances. With Francesca Zambello's direction and Stephen Mear's choreography, the cast consisted of….
Sierra Boggess (later Chelsea Morgan Stock) as "Ariel",
Sherie Rene Scott (later Heidi Blickenstaff and Faith Prince) as "Ursula",
Tituss Burgess (later Rogelio Douglas Jr.) as "Sebastian",
Sean Palmer (later Drew Seeley) as "Prince Eric",
Norm Lewis as "King Triton",
Tyler Maynard as "Flotsam",
Derrick Baskin as "Jetsam",
Jonathan Freeman as "Grimsby",
John Treacy Egan as "Chef Louis",
THE LITTLE MERMAID was nominated for 2 Tony Awards in 2008 for Best Score and Best Lighting Design of a Musical. However, it lost both the categories.
Following its life on Broadway, THE LITTLE MERMAID began a life with revamped and reinvented production that premiered in Holland back in 2012. This new production was directed by Glenn Casale and was noted for flying the actors above the ground. He also changed majority of the score and book including a new song about the relationship between "King Triton" and "Ursula". With the success of the Holland reinvented version, THE LITTLE MERMAID began touring all over North America and all over the world. It's being performed today in schools, community, and regional theaters everywhere.
In addition to this live TV production, a full scale live action feature film version of THE LITTLE MERMAID is also set to start filming in 2020.
Who is excited about this new live production of THE LITTLE MERMAID?
ABC has just announced that THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE will air Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. as part of The Wonderful World of Disney. Auli'i Cravalho, of Moana fame, will star as Ariel. Queen Latifah will star as Ursula and Shaggy will play Sebastian. No additional casting has been announced at this time…
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