Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID to Play Starlight Theatre, 7/23-28

Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID will grace the Starlight stage, July 23-28. Based on Hans Christian Andersen's famous and timeless tale, Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is a family musical that features classic songs: "Part of Your World," "Kiss the Girl," and the Academy Award-winning "Under the Sea."

Twenty-four years after the original film was released, Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID continues to capture the hearts of children and parents alike. It's the story of Ariel, an adventurous and independent young mermaid who lives in a magical kingdom beneath the sea, but longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above.

"The stage version of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID promises to be even more memorable than the film with elaborate sets and costumes, unforgettable choreography that includes special effects, theatrical flight technology, additional songs and an accomplished cast," said Denton Yockey, President and Executive Producer of Starlight Theatre. "It's our biggest show of the year."

As usual with Starlight's kid-friendly production, Starlight will host a huge pre-show family "Under the Sea Festival" from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. nightly. Activities will include: entertainment, cartoonists, a costume contest, a fishing booth, hands-on art projects, photo opportunities, goodies and more. Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is Starlight's fourth production in its 2013 Broadway Series and is presented by Panera Bread.

Starlight's production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is one of the few in the U.S. this year, Yockey said. For 2013, Disney has only granted a handful of theaters licensing rights to produce Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID. Starlight Theatre is producing it in partnership with Paper Mill Playhouse and Pittsburgh CLO.

Starlight and its partner theatres have hired some of the top national and international directors and designers for this production including Glenn Casale who previously directed Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID in Europe and in California. Casale also directed the 1999 Tony Award nominated and Emmy winning PETER PAN starring Cathy Rigby which played at Starlight Theatre in 2012. Choreography is by John MacInnis, who recently choreographed the European productions of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID. In 2011, MacInnis served as associate choreographer of the Tony Award-winning musical THE BOOK OF MORMON and directed and choreographed the Olympic Medals Ceremonies at the 2002 and 2012 Winter Olympic Games. The flight choreographer is Paul Rubin, "The Fly Guy," who has choreographed some of the most memorable flying sequences from the Tony Award winning Wicked as well as PETER PAN national tour.

The musical score is composed by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. The book for the musical is by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Doug Wright.

The cast includes Jessica Grové (Ariel), Nick Adams (Prince Eric), Matt Allen (Scuttle), Sean Patrick Doyle (Jetsam), Scott Leiendecker (Flotsam), Liz McCartney (Ursula), Alan Mingo, Jr. (Sebastian), Christian Probst (Flounder), Timothy Shew (Chef Louis), Edward Watts (King Triton), Ron Wisniski (Grimsby), Kristine Bennett, Ward Billeisen, Lauryn Ciardullo, Thay Floyd, KC Fredericks, Rod Harrelson, Lisa Karlin (a native Kansas Citian), Nicole JavAnna Johnson, Morgan Kirner, Erica Mansfield, Dennis O'Bannion, Robbie Roby, James Shackelford, Katie Ulrich and Jessica Wockenfuss.

Tickets to Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID are now on sale for $10 - $135. Tickets are available at kcstarlight.com, by calling 816-363-STAR (7827) or in person at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road. Box Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Discounted ticket prices for groups of 15 or more can be ordered by contacting Stacey Million, Starlight's group sales manager, at groups@kcstarlight.com or 816-997-1137.



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