Walnut Street Theatre Invites Families To Journey Under The Sea At THE LITTLE MERMAID

Walnut Street Theatre Invites Families To Journey Under The Sea At THE LITTLE MERMAID

Kids of all ages can explore the underwater kingdom of Atlantis during the WST for Kids' production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID, JR. Based on and adapted from the Academy Award-winning 1989 Disney movie and Broadway production, this hour-long musical will appear on the Walnut Mainstage beginning September 21 and now extended through October 6, 2019.

Journey "under the sea" with Ariel and her aquatic friends in Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID, JR., a song-filled musical for kids. In a magical underwater kingdom, the young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home-and her fins-behind and live in the world above.

The 1989 animated musical film The Little Mermaid is based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. The film received critical and audience acclaim, garnering $84 million at the domestic box office during its initial release, and $233 million in total lifetime gross worldwide. It also received two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, as well as two Grammy Awards for Best Album for Children and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. Disney announced a live-action film remake this year starring Halle Bailey as Ariel and tapping Lin Manuel-Miranda to collaborate on the movie's soundtrack.

Music for Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID, JR. was conceived by Lyricists Howard Ashman (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast) and Glenn Slater (Sister Act, The Little Mermaid) who worked with Composer Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast) while the book was written by Doug Wright (The Pavilion, Grey Gardens, I am My Own Wife).

Jesse Bernstein returns to The Walnut to direct Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID, JR. Bernstein recently directed The Walnut's Independence Studio on 3 production of It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and WST for Kid's productions of Disney's Aladdin, Jr. and Honk! Jr. As part of the Walnut's Touring Outreach program, he directed The Return of Nick Nutrition and The Boy Who Cried Bully. Bernstein has also performed at The Walnut in numerous shows including Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, and Broadway Bound. Nate Golden, a Walnut teaching artist, returns to WST for Kids as choreographer, after most recently choreographing last season's productions of Fly Guy, Pinkalicious, Goosebumps and Aladdin, Jr. Ronnie Keller, who has previously been seen as an actor in The Walnut's productions of A Funny Thing...Forum and Peter and the Starcatcher will be the music and vocal director for this production.

Bringing the iconic scenes from the movie to life - from the royal court of King Triton to the eerie depths of Ursula's Lair - is a creative team led by Scenic Designer Brian Froonjian. Froonjian is the technical director for The Walnut and most recently designed the set for last season's Fly Guy. He has worked with The New Candlelight Theatre, Surflight Theatre, and The American Theater of Actors. Bringing Ariel and her aquatic friends to life is Costume Designer Susan Benitez (Aladdin Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr., Honk! Jr.). Joining them are Lighting Designer J. Dominic Chacon and Sound Designer Adam B. Orseck.

The actors portraying the princess, villains, and fishy friends of Atlantis are local to the tristate area, and members of The Walnut Street Theatre School. Casey McLaughlin will star in her second WST production, this time as the undersea princess Ariel. McLaughlin is a junior at Cheltenham High School and has previously played Serena in The Walnut's Legally Blonde, Jr. Nathan Esser returns to the Walnut stage as Prince Eric. He was last seen as Babkak in The Walnut's production of Aladdin Jr. and attends LaSalle College High School. Kenikki Thompson of Sicklerville, NJ and Haley Braun of Lafayette Hill, PA will play Ariel's aquatic friends Sebastian and Flounder respectively. Simon Gottlieb of Philadelphia, PA will assume the role of King Triton while Danielle Kucera of Downingtown, PA takes on the role of the evil sea witch Ursula. Mikey Geddes of Holmes PA and Aanand Shah of Lansdale, PA will act as Ursula's evil eels, Flotsam and Jetsam. John Sayles of Haddon Township, NJ will play quirky seagull Scuttle.

Forming the Mersisters are Hope Shappell (Aquata/Ensemble) of Chalfont, PA, Delaney Dickinson (Andrina/Ensemble) of Haddon Township, PA, Taylor Lockoff (Arista/Ensemble) of Philadelphia, PA, Lauren Cahoone (Atina/Ensemble) of Bryn Mawr, PA, Lailah Barnes (Adella/Ensemble) of Lansdowne, PA, and Giuliana Bruzzese (Allana/Ensemble) of Voorhees, NJ. Rounding out the cast is Brendan Kennedy (Grimsby) of Berwyn, PA, Melina Cruz (Carlotta/Ensemble), and Manny Rimmer (Chef Louis/Pilot/Ensemble).

The Walnut Street Theatre for Kids Series is celebrated for its commitment to encouraging parents and caregivers of all types to read with the children in their lives. Families can read together and discover a whole new level of imagination when they see the shows live onstage. The Walnut takes pride in bringing families together and fostering a creative conversation through reading and the arts.

Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID, JR. is an ideal outing for all kids with weekend matinee performances September 21 - 22, September 28 - 29, and October 5 - 6. The media sponsor is Courier Post. Tickets are $16 - $19 with group discounts available for groups of ten or more. For tickets and information, please call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets can also be purchased online at Ticketmaster or by visiting the Walnut's website at www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org.



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