Join Stage Coach Players under the sea as they swim into their 2019 season with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The musical is based on the 1989 film of the same name with all the popular songs included. Its book is by Doug Wright, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman with additional lyrics by Glenn Slater. It is about a mermaid who is willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and find love.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid which will be performed at the Egyptian Theatre is directed by Jan Kuntz (director of last season’s It Should Have Been You, among others) with music direction from John Feken, music director for Hairspray. The cast features Andrea Shapiro (Ariel), Chase McIntoush (Prince Eric) and Emmanuel Cockrell (King Triton), all making their Stage Coach debuts. Other principals are Andy Small (Pilot), Greg Anderson (Grimsby), Blythe Schwaller (Flounder), Nick Bantz (Scuttle), Rudy Espiritu (Sebastian), Shannon Becker (Ursula), Dorcas Keating (Jetsam), Allison Scigalski (Flotsam), and Steven Becker (Chef).
Noah Aldis, Ali Anderson, Makayla Anderson, Drew Beckett, Kelly Bolander, Cadmium Bound, Isabelle Chamberlain, Abigail Cooper, Jaimee Draper, Jaylin Draper, Zach Eckhardt, Helen Frey, Colin Gorman, Ruth Hart, Kaitlin Jacobson, Hope Johnson, Edward Keating, Kaitlynn Keck, David Kuhn, Jan Lam, Karissa Lam, Andrea Larson, Grace Leopardo, Sophia Linson, John McCue, Sage McCue, Caroline Menzer, Jacob Morton, Isaiah Panke, Joseph Pontarelli, Riley Powers, Ebad Rana, Bailey Russell, Andrew Russo, Hillary Rutten, Ariana Meric Sanchez, Piper Schiola-Williams, Jim Small, AJ Smith, Monique Smith, Hannah Squires, Josie Squires, Jyllann Torres, Mikayla Torres, Brittany Watne, Chris Welch and Dominique Williams round out the aquatic cast.
Like the movie, the production is a spectacle filled with wonderful characters, tuneful songs, vivid colors and according to Kuntz, a “splash of Cirque du Soleil.” She added that the crew has spent countless hours creating beautiful and amazing costumes and props and assembling and painting set pieces.
After weeks of singing and dancing at rehearsals, the cast is excited to perform in front of audiences at the Egyptian Theatre. Shannon Becker (Ursula) said, “This will be the largest venue I’ve performed in, and I’m so excited for it!”
The Little Mermaid story is personal for Kuntz: “King Triton reminds me a lot of my Dad, loving with a touch of the Marines, and I have just a bit of Ariel’s stubbornness in me. We clashed numerous times, situations that now make me smile and give me fond memories. I hope my Dad is smiling in heaven when King Triton states that Ariel ‘can speak for herself.’ He certainly taught me to stand on my own and speak for myself, and I thank him for that.”
Cast as Ariel and King Triton are Andrea Shapiro and Emmanuel Cockrell, both new to Stage Coach who have not performed in musicals for a while: “I genuinely missed the atmosphere of being in a musical!” Shapiro said. “I had just moved to DeKalb and wanted to develop a new theatre family!”
Cockrell who by happenstance came to Stage Coach last fall to inquire about any upcoming auditions during The Little Mermaid auditions found himself cast as Ariel’s father, King Triton. He offered this for those who might come to any of the performances: “Expect to just forget about the problems of the real world for about two hours and enjoy the magic that you will experience under the sea.”
Performances for Disney’s The Little Mermaid are March 7th to March 9th with a curtain time of 7:30, along with Saturday and Sunday matinees on March 9th and March 10th with a curtain time of 2:00. Tickets start at $25 each or $20 for seniors and children age 13 and under. They are available online to purchase at stagecoachplayers.com or egyptiantheatre.org. You can also walk up to the Egyptian Theatre Box Office, Tuesday – Thursday 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.