“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” musical will be performed at Carol Morsani Hall (The Straz Center) in Tampa, FL numerous times during July 2017. Choose best time from the schedule, select preferred seats, get tickets in advance and enjoy great play!
The Little Mermaid is a stage musical produced by Disney Theatrical, based on the animated 1989 Disney film of the same name and the classic story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen about a mermaid who dreams of the world above the sea and gives up her voice to find love. Its book is by Doug Wright, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman (written for the film), with additional lyrics by Glenn Slater. Its underwater setting and story about aquatic characters requires unusual technical designs and strategies to create gliding movements for the actors.
After a pre-broadway tryout in Denver, Colorado from July to September 2007, the musical began Broadway previews in November 2007 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, replacing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The production officially opened on January 10, 2008 and closed on August 30, 2009 after 685 performances and 50 previews. It introduced Broadway debuts by director Francesca Zambello and Sierra Boggess in the title role.
Subsequent productions have been seen in US regional theatres and internationally. A modified version of the musical with a new book and direction by Glenn Casale was developed in 2012, and this version is the basis for subsequent productions of it.
Regional US productions include the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Ivins, Utah (2011, 2014); The Muny, St. Louis, Missouri (2011); the California Musical Theatre, Sacramento (2012); the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey (2013), the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota (2014), the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas (2014), and the White Plains Performing Arts Center, New York (2014). There have also been limited tours of regional productions, such as a 2015 tour by Theatre Under the Stars, and a 2016 tour scheduled to launch at the 5th Avenue Theatre on November 23, 2016 and will make stops in Orlando, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Louisville, among other cities. The production staged at the California Musical Theatre (Sacramento), directed by Glen Casale, is notable for having been performed in the round.
Audience response of the targeted family demographic to the musical has been generally positive. Critics gave the show a mixed response, with some praising it, and some calling it “less than witty” and “bloated”. Ben Brantley of the New York Times was especially critical, saying that the “charm-free” musical is “stripped of the movie’s generation-crossing appeal. Coherence of plot, endearing quirks of character, even the melodious wit of the original score (supplemented by new, substandard songs…) have been swallowed by an unfocused spectacle.” Time Magazine, however, commented, “It was one of the most ravishing things I have ever seen on a Broadway stage.”