BWW TV: THE LITTLE MERMAID Swims Into Music Theatre Wichita
Music Theatre Wichita concludes its 2018 Season with the return of Disney's "The Little Mermaid," directed and choreographed by Linda Goodrich, with musical direction by Thomas W. Douglas. The 60-member cast includes Broadway veterans working alongside some of the nation's most promising new talent, all showcased in an brand-new staging, featuring imaginative sets and costumes inspired by the classic Disney film. In 2011, Music Theatre Wichita was one of the first three theatres in the country to receive permission from the Disney Company to produce this title following its Broadway run, and the new edition marks the local premiere of the newly revised script and score. "The Little Mermaid" runs for ten performances, August 8-18 at the Century II Concert Hall in downtown Wichita, Kansas.
Starring as Ariel is resident company member Tatum Grace Ludlam (a rising senior at the University of Oklahoma), opposite Jake Smith (a rising senior at Elon University) as Prince Eric. Returning to roles they previously portrayed at MTWichita are Lawrence Cummings ("Camelot," "Jesus Christ Superstar" National Tours) as Sebastian, Karen L. Robu (MTW's recent Berthe in "Pippin") as Ursula, and Timothy W. Robu as Grimsby. Completing the principals are Broadway veterans Edward Watts ("Scandalous," "Finian's Rainbow") as King Triton and Elliot Mattox ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") as Scuttle.
MTWichita's production features scenic design created by J Branson and fanciful costumes designed by Leon Dobkowski. The sets, properties, and costumes were created in Wichita by MTWichita's professional team of 70+ theatrical technicians. Other members of the artistic team include hair and makeup designer Danae Jimenez, costume craftsperson Megan Reed, lighting designer David Neville, sound designer David Muehl, and property master Anna Rosell.
About Music Theatre Wichita - Founded in 1972, MTWichita is internationally recognized for self-producing five high-quality Broadway-scale productions each summer during an intense 10-week period, while providing unparalleled learning experiences for young up-and-coming artists. It has been the site for the world premiere of the revised Good News!, the U.S. premiere of Betty Blue Eyes, and the regional premieres of such Disney titles as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, and High School Musical. MTWichita has also created cast albums for Honk! and Good News!
Notable artists who began their theatrical careers in Wichita include performers Kelli O'Hara, Kristin Chenoweth, Jenni Barber, Christiani Pitts, Chris Mann, and Ashley Park, as well as choreographers Andrew Palermo, Josh Rhodes, Josh Prince, Sara Edwards, Dontee Kiehn and Nicholas Palmquist. MTWichita alumni performing on Broadway this season include Caesar Samayoa, Shina Ann Morris, Jeremy Davis, Riza Takahashi, Cory Lingner, Sasha Hutchings, Halli Toland, Max Clayton, Erin Clemons, Ryan Vasquez, Molly Rushing, Jacob Gutierrez, Cameron Hill, Michael Hartung, Becca Petersen, Wes Hart, Lauralyn Mcclelland, Gilbert L. Bailey II, Alex Finke, Kevin Munhall, Kathryn Boswell, Alex Michael Stoll, Kaleigh Cronin, Benjamin Rivera, Kimberly Elayne Sprawl, Max Kumangai, Ximone Rose, and many more.