Disney’s The Little Mermaid makes a splash at Starlight Theatre July 23-28

Karen VanAsdale 816-997-1144 karen.vanasdale@kcstarlight.com

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.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION 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.

TICKET AND THEATRE INFORMATION 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.

All performances begin at 8 p.m. Dining options for Disney’s The Little Mermaid include pre-show dining in the VIP Club catered by Plaza Catering that includes hot buffet items, extensive salad selections, a veggie garden bar, upscale desserts, and children’s menu that includes bagel pizzas, mac and cheese, chicken tenders, mini pulled pork sliders and desserts. Reservations may be made in advance; walk-ups are also welcome. The menu for Disney’s The Little Mermaid is posted at www.kcstarlight.com. Other dining options include concession stand favorites and pre-packaged salads and sandwiches on the Encore Deck provided by ARAMARK.

Pre-show tours of the stage, Starlight’s Walk of Stars, gardens and fountains are offered nightly along with pre-show performances at the Starlight Square stage. Free nightly, behind-the-scenes tours with information about Starlight and its rich history begin at 6:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 7 p.m. at the top of the theatre behind Terrace Section 1. The Ovation Gift Store is open from 6 p.m. through end of show. Accessible parking and guest assistance getting in and out of the theater are available. For information about other Starlight services, visit kcstarlight.com.

NOTABLE DATES July 23-28: Under the Sea Pre-Show Festival: 6-7:45 p.m. nightly. This free pre-show festival includes: Ariel’s Treasure Find, cartoonists, a costume contest, a fishing booth, hands-on art projects, photo opportunities, goodies and more. July 24 and 27 – Girl Scout Nights. Girls Scouts receive special seating, a group discount and a Starlight Theatre patch. July 25 - Young Professionals Night. Young professionals can volunteer at the “Under the Sea Pre-Show Festival” before the show, receive special seating and group ticket discount price to the performance. Email stacey.million@kcstarlight.com
July 27 - Performance will be described for the blind and visually impaired by Kansas Audio-Reader Network. July 28 - Performance will be interpreted for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

ABOUT STARLIGHT THEATRE Starlight Theatre opened in 1951 and is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in Kansas City and the second largest outdoor producing theatre in the country. In addition to presenting and producing Broadway musicals and concerts, the not-for-profit organization offers extensive community outreach and educational programming which includes classes, scholarships and Starlight’s Blue Star Awards, the second largest musical theatre award program for local high schools and students in the country. Located on 16 acres, Starlight’s venue includes rehearsal halls, gift store, club area for dining, concessions, gardens, fountains and a 10-story, climate-controlled stage.

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NOTE: Photos, Music and Video may be downloaded here: http://www.kcstarlight.com/aboutstarlight/pressroom/press_kits.aspx?PressKitId=46

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