SILER CITY, N.C. — "Disney’s The Little Mermaid," a haunting love story based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale and Disney’s classic animated film, will swim onto the Jordan-Matthews High School stage later this month with a large student cast for three performances only.
Performances at the JM Auditorium are Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. General admission tickets are $5 each and now available online at JMArtsTickets.com. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door and child care will be provided by student clubs with a suggested donation of $5 per child. No passes — including Chatham County Schools and senior citizens’ passes — can be accepted. Everyone entering the theater, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” is the story of Ariel, King Triton's youngest daughter, who wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above. In the process, she makes a bargain with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends — Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab — to restore order under the sea.
The musical features several familiar songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” It opened on Broadway a little more than 10 years ago and ran for 685 performances, receiving a Tony nomination for Best Original Score. Since then, it has been performed by regional theaters across the United States and at international venues around the world.
Jordan-Matthews’ production features a huge, 47-member cast, but not all of them are high school students. Auditions were held in September to select 10 cast members from Chatham Middle, Siler City Elementary, Virginia Cross Elementary and Silk Hope schools to perform in three full-cast numbers.
While the musical’s content is designed for a family audience, Rose Pate, president of JMArts and producer of the musical, says “The Little Mermaid” may not be appropriate for younger children. A minimum attendance age of 5-years-old is strongly suggested.
“This is a fairly long show that runs about two hours, 20 minutes,” Pate says. “We know how restless children can get over such a long time and that could make the evening less enjoyable for parents and more challenging for performers in a live production. The great news is that we are providing child care for the same price as a ticket, so parents and older children can have a great time in the musical and younger children can enjoy a fun evening of activities.”
Child care with snacks will be provided by JM’s HOSA and LEO clubs, with adult supervision, at a requested donation of $5 per child. Care will be provided in the JM Media Center, located near the auditorium, so parents will have time to check in with their children during a 15-minute intermission between the two acts.
In addition to Pate, other members of the creative team are director Jessica Nunn, musical director Matt Fry, costume designer Cynthia Bredenberg and scenery designer Rahma Mateen-Mason.
“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” features music by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater. The book of the musical was written by Doug Wright. It is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film that was produced by Howard Ashman and John Musker, and was written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements. The musical was originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.
More information about the production and other arts events scheduled for this season is available online at jmarts.org.
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