Jessica Grove, Eric Kunze, Alan Mingo, Jr. and More to Lead Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID at TUTS; Glenn Casale to Direct!
Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) announces the cast and creative team for the Houston premiere of Disney's The Little Mermaid, based on the classic animated film of the same title. The musical will run June 13 - 29 in Hobby Center's Sarofim Hall and then play the Atlanta premiere at the Fabulous Fox Theatre from July 8 - 13. TUTS invites everyone to take a trip "under the sea" including all the familiar classic songs plus a few new ones along with a story that charms people of all ages!
This musical boasts several acclaimed Broadway and stage veterans:
Jessica Grové (Ariel) played in Broadway's A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Thoroughly Modern Millie and LES MISERABLES. She also toured nationally in The Boy Friend.
Eric Kunze (Prince Eric) appeared on Broadway in Damn Yankees, Miss Saigon and LES MISERABLES. TUTS audiences will recognize him from his appearances in Miss Saigon, Whistle Down the Wind and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Liz McCartney (Ursula) boasts Broadway credits such as Annie, South Pacific, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mamma Mia! and The Phantom of the Opera.
Christian Probst (Flounder) has acted in several regional theatres, most recently in musicals such as Beauty and the Beast, Mame, Peter Pan, Oliver! and The Sound of Music.
Alan Mingo, Jr. (Sebastian) performed on Broadway in Glory Days, The Little Mermaid and Rent. He lists Shrek, Hairspray, and The Lion King among his work in national tours.
Steve Blanchard (King Triton) lists Beauty and the Beast, Camelot and The Three Musketeers as his Broadway experience. He has previously appeared at TUTS in Chess, 42nd Street, and Little House on the Prairie. Blanchard also toured nationally in Camelot.
Matt Allen (Scuttle) appeared on Broadway in The Wedding Singer, Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun. National tour of Billy Elliot and Doctor Dolittle. This musical will mark his first return to the TUTS stage since 2007's Spamalot.
Ben Roseberry (Jetsam) played in Broadway's The Lion King. His national tours include The Lion King and Rent.
Scott Leiendecker (Flotsam) toured nationally in Camelot and Jesus Christ Superstar. He played at TUTS in Doctor Dolittle and 42nd Street.
Dale Hensley (Grimsby) has performed on Broadway in La Cage aux Folles, The Drowsy Chaperone, Guys and Dolls and Anything Goes. His national tour credits include hits like La Cage aux Folles, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Full Monty and Big.
Rounding out the cast are Kristine Bennett, Audrey Cardwell, Matthew DeGuzman, Marjorie Failoni, Thay Floyd, Julie Kavanagh, Morgan Kirner, Michael McGurk, Sarah Meahl, Dennis O'Bannion, Robbie Roby, James Shackelford, Billy Steeves, Katie Ulrich, Jessica Wockenfuss.
Leading the creative team as director is Glenn Casale, who directed Broadway's Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby. Internationally, he directed Disney's The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Casale's work has been seen throughout the United States in productions of Dr. Dolittle, Ballroom, Wrestlers, From the Top, Camelot and The Prisoner of Second Avenue.
John MacInnis will choreograph The Little Mermaid. He most recently choreographed the European productions of the same show as well as Beauty and the Beast in more than five European countries. In 2011, he worked on the Tony Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon. Other credits include the Radio City Christmas Spectacular as well as the Olympic Medals Ceremonies at the 2002 and 2012 Winter Olympic Games.
Craig Barna will serve as the musical director and conductor. He previously worked as the musical director for the Broadway productions of Peter and the Wolf, Peter Pan, Jesus Christ Superstar and for the national tours of Camelot, Cats, Singin' in the Rain and Grease. Charlie Morrison will join on board as the lighting designer, and Kit Bond will return to TUTS as the sound designer.
Tickets (starting at only $24) are available on-line at TUTS.com, by phone at (713) 558-TUTS (8887), outside the Houston area at (888) 558-3882, or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office, located at 800 Bagby at Walker, Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Saturday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. An audio described performance is available Sunday, June 22 at 2 p.m.; open captioning is available Sunday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. The Hobby Center is wheelchair accessible. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Group tickets may be purchased by calling (713) 558-8888 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TUTS' production of The Little Mermaid is brought to Houstonians by the generosity of Apache Corporation.
Theatre Under The Stars' 2013-2014 season is generously sponsored by CHI St. Luke's Health. For all of TUTS' shows, air transportation is provided by United Airlines, the official airline of TUTS. Media sponsors include ABC-13 and Houston Chronicle. Season support is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Theater District Association, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
Theatre Under The Stars is Houston's acclaimed nonprofit musical theatre company whose mission is to enrich life through the experience of quality musical theatre and to positively impact lives beyond the stage through innovative education and community engagement programs. TUTS performs annually in Sarofim Hall and Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center and at Miller Outdoor Theatre. TUTS was the first theatrical organization in Houston to perform free to the public when it was founded in 1968 at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park and is the only Houston arts organization that has performed there free to the public every year since the theatre opened. Founded by Frank M. Young and currently under the direction of President and CEO John C. Breckenridge and Artistic Director Bruce Lumpkin, TUTS has produced more than 300 musicals including many local, national and world. Through its membership in the Independent Presenters Network, TUTS regularly financially contributes to shows on Broadway, which eventually allows the company to bring the shows to Houston for local audiences to enjoy.
In support of TUTS' mission, TUTS' Education & Community Engagement programs provide year-round instruction and stage experience. The Humphreys School of Musical Theatre offers technique-driven classes for all ability levels and ages. Through The River Performing and Visual Arts Center, TUTS provides an accessible and inclusive arts education for individuals of all abilities. TUTS Education & Community Engagement provides extended on-site programming as well as off-site programming for children in schools, hospitals and other community-based sites. TUTS also annually presents the Tommy Tune Awards, honoring the best and brightest in Houston's high school musical theatre programs.