Basis and Premiere
The Little Mermaid musical originates from the 1989 Disney movie of the same name. Based on the classic fairy tale of the famous author, Hans Christian Andersen, the book for the musical is written by the Pulitzer Prize winning writer, Doug Wright. With a few changes in the plot and production design, the musical began a pre-Broadway tryout at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. This new production was hailed for its fresh theatrical design and witnessed several sold out shows.
The Little Mermaid made its Broadway debut at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in January 2008 after 50 previews. The musical received greatly positive reviews from the critics and was appreciated for its visual appeal and original musical arrangement. It completed a successful run of 685 performances and spawned many subsequent national and international productions.
Production Chronology and Reception
The original Broadway production of The Little Mermaid was nominated for one Outer Critics Circle Award, two Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards besides others. After 2010, different regional productions started their shows in various cities of the US. Among these, reprised runs of the musical in Utah, Millburn, Ivins and New Jersey are mention worthy. The Little Mermaid tickets witnessed mounting sales and made the musical one of the hottest theatrical events of the country.
In 2011, a Philippine production of The Little Mermaid started after seeking permission from the Disney Theatrical Company. The musical was adapted to the resident requirements and was presented with changes in the stage setting and technical design. In 2012, a Dutch version of the musical was performed. Omission and addition of various musical numbers along with amendments in the stage design highlighted the Dutch rendition of the musical.
In July of the same year, a Russian production of the musical premiered at The Rossia Theatre, Moscow and was well received by the audiences. The Japanese and Argentinean versions of The Little Mermaid were presented in 2013. These adaptations were also widely acclaimed. The Little Mermaid will be touring various cities of the US and the tour is expected to last till August 2014.
The Creative Crew
The permanent stage credits that are associated with the musical include Alan Menken, Glen Slater, Howard Ashman and Doug Wright. The directors and production design changed with different versions. The original score of the movie as well as the musical is given by eight time Academy Award winning musician, Alan Menken. He is famous for producing original score for various Disney animated movies including Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Enchanted.
The lyrics for the musical are written by Howard Ashman and Glen Slater. Ashman wrote the original lyrics for The Little Mermaid movie while Slater crafted lyrics for the additional musical numbers for the theater version. The original Broadway production of the musical was directed by multiple award winning theater and opera director, Francesca Zambello.
The Little Mermaid will carry on its US tour form the Elgin Theater in Toronto in November 2013 that will play shows in different cities through August 2014. Dive into the magical world of love, thrill and music and join Ariel in her adventurous journey while she chases her dreams!