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'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07


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  • #46
    Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

    The Little Mermaid

    (Ellie Caulkins Opera House at Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver; 2,016 seats; $77 top)

    Sierra Boggess stars as Ariel in Disney Theatrical's 'The Little Mermaid.'

    A Disney Theatrical Prods., Thomas Schumacher presentation of a musical in two acts with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, book by Doug Wright, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film produced by Ashman and John Musker, written and directed by Musker and Ron Clements. Directed by Francesca Zambello. Music direction, incidental music and vocal arrangements, Michael Kosarin. Choreography, Stephen Mear.

    Ariel - Sierra Boggess
    Prince Eric - Sean Palmer
    King Triton - Norm Lewis
    Sebastian - Tituss Burgess
    Scuttle - Eddie Korbich
    Grimsby - Jonathan Freeman
    Jetsam - Derrick Baskin
    Flotsam - Tyler Maynard
    Flounder - Cody Hanford/J.J. Singleton
    Ursula - Sherie Rene Scott
    With: Adrian Bailey, Cathryn Basile, Heidi Blickenstaff, James Brown III, Robert Creighton, Cicily Daniels, John Treacy Egan, Tim Federle, Merwin Foard, Bahiyah Sayyed Gaines, Ben Hartley, Meredith Inglesby, Michelle Lookadoo, Joanne Manning, Alan Mingo, Jr., Zakiya Young Mizen, Betsy Morgan, Arbender J. Robinson, Bret Shuford, Jason Snow, Chelsea Morgan Stock, Kay Trinidad, Price Waldman, Daniel J. Watts.

    By David Rooney
    August 27, 2007

    There are lots of questions to ponder while being otherwise unengaged by Disney's new stage version of "The Little Mermaid." How can a merman and a squid be brother and sister? When the ocean's surface and the depths below are so clearly delineated, why does the ship float in the night sky? If the sea witch is so powerful, how is she so easily dispatched? How does King Triton maintain those abs? What are those giant baroque corkscrews that keep appearing? And while we're on that track, did no one at any point worry that the designs for this show are just plain ugly?

    While director Francesca Zambello is new to Broadway, her opera and musical productions elsewhere have been lauded for their balance of spectacle with emotional detail. But by choosing frequent opera-world collaborators, set designer George Tsypin and costumer Tatiana Noginova, Zambello has allowed emotion, charm and enchantment to be drowned in a sea of bewilderingly over-stylized designs.

    In a musical for which children are the primary audience, clarity of representation is fundamental. But in the magical underwater kingdom that beautiful young mermaid Ariel (Sierra Boggess) longs to leave behind to marry the human prince (Sean Palmer), we often require explanation to know what we're looking at.
    Full review at:
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


    • #47
      Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

      I saw it here in Denver twice (yes, I'm a spoiled brat) and both showings were wonderful! The brand new songs from Alan Menken are magical and fit right in with the originals. The cast, sets and costumes are all fantastic! I wouldn't say it was better or worse than The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, just different. Certainly, a few things need to be tweaked. Some of the scenes look a sort of bare set-wise. I would be interested to see what changes they make on the road to New York. I can't WAIT for the soundtrack!
      Last edited by dolewhipsquiggles; 08-30-2007, 03:07 PM.


      • #48
        Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

        "Mermaid" star visits school that set her dreams afloat

        By Jeremy P. Meyer
        Denver Post Staff Writer
        Article Launched: 08/29/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT

        Sierra Boggess chats Tuesday with students at George Washington High School, her alma mater.
        She landed what is being called one of the highestprofile roles in Broadway history. (Post / John Prieto)

        The star of the Broadway-bound musical, "The Little Mermaid," on Tuesday stood on the George Washington High School stage where her career began and told students to reach for their dreams.

        "This is where I got my start," said Sierra Boggess, who plays the lead role of Ariel in the Disney spectacular that opened in Denver and heads to New York in November. "Anything you want can happen."

        Boggess, 25, with flowing red hair and wearing a blue shirt and jeans, came to inspire the drama students and teachers at her alma mater.

        "I'm back here to get back to my roots," she said. "This stage, oh, my gosh, this was my home. It shaped my life." Boggess graduated from GW in 2000, went to Millikin

        University in Illinois and eventually landed a key role as "Christine" in the "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular."

        In January, she was the unknown who landed what is being called one of the highest-profile roles in Broadway history.
        Full article available at:
        "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


        • #49
          Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

          And now for the musicals. There aren't many, but among them are a couple heavy hitters. It is a toss-up between The Little Mermaid and Young Frankenstein as to which show is most hotly anticipated. The latter is Mel Brooks' follow-up to his hugely successful The Producers. He took a similar creative route creating this work: raiding an old film of his for material; teaming with writing partner Thomas Meehan; and marshalling the talents of director-choreographer Susan Stroman. The story is familiar to anyone who saw the classic 1974 film comedy, and the cast is familiar to anyone who attends Broadway on a regular basis: Roger Bart (as the good doctor), Sutton Foster, Shuler Hensley and Andrea Martin (Tony winners all), with the redoubtable Megan Mullally thrown in for television fans. Reports from Seattle say the "Puttin' on the Ritz" number could top the comic mania Stroman and Brooks created for the famous "Springtime for Hitler" number in The Producers. Performances begin Oct. 11 at the Hilton.

          The Little Mermaid is the fourth stage show Disney has adapted from one of its animated films. Two of those past efforts, Beauty and the Beast and Tarzan, recently exited Broadway, leaving only The Lion King behind. The underwater tale returns Disney to the dependably popular work of composer Alan Menken and his late collaborator Howard Ashman. Glenn Slater is on board to lend some additional lyrics, and first-time Broadway director (but experienced opera hand) Francesa Zambello is at the helm. Out of town reviews commented much on George Tsypin's otherworldly set design and newcomer Sierra Boggess' fetching work as Ariel. Mermaid will make its splash at the Lunt-Fontanne on Nov. 3.

          Sean Palmer and Sierra Boggess in The Little Mermaid.
          photo by Joan Marcus

          Excerpt from:
          Putting on The Ritz and More: A Preview of the Fall Broadway Season

          By Robert Simonson
          03 Sep 2007

          "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


          • #50
            Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

            BORNSTEIN: Denver on map after 'Mermaid'

            By Lisa Bornstein
            Rocky Mountain News
            September 1, 2007

            The reviews are in for The Little Mermaid, and most critics are finding much to be desired in Disney's latest entry into the world of musical theater.

            Costumes are taking the biggest hit, from the tail-leg combo of the mermaids to Flounder's oversize T-shirt and the seagulls' odd baseball cap/beaks.

            But the bigger problem for the show, with a little more than a week to go in its pre- Broadway run at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, lies in the overall conception. Disney spent a lot of money to look a little cheap, and the show itself, despite a book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Doug Wright, is so childish even some children may be bored.

            None of which will stop Mermaid from selling tickets once it reaches Broadway later this fall. It is the Disney picture with the most devoted of little- girl audiences, from those now seeing the show on DVD (and getting tickets from their mothers) to those who saw it in the theater 18 years ago (and are buying their own seats).

            And while Disney may not be loving Denver's critics (although the harshest review of all came from Variety), the company is loving Denver. Denver Center for the Performing Arts president Randy Weeks hopes that will translate to another pre-Broadway tryout. Talks have begun with other producers, but the process is so touch-and-go that one show (he declines to name it) has already fallen apart.

            "They were totally thrilled with the Ellie, and they would say if any producer's going to be doing anything, that they should be doing it in Denver," Weeks says of Disney. "It's a win-win for the DCPA but also for (the city department of) Theatres and Arenas, because the Ellie is available during the summertime."

            One of the thrills of Mermaid was seeing it in the Ellie, which took two years after opening to present theater. It is a terrific place to see a show, warmed by the generous use of wood and a stage that seems to fill the eye. But the theater is committed to the Colorado Opera and Colorado Ballet seasons.
            Last edited by ALIASd; 09-04-2007, 05:00 PM.
            "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


            • #51
              Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

              Last edited by ALIASd; 09-04-2007, 05:00 PM.
              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


              • #52
                Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                On point: Fans more "in the swim" than critics

                By John Moore
                Denver Post Theater Critic
                Article Last Updated: 09/01/2007 10:35:39 PM MDT

                DENVER, COLORADO, AUGUST 23, 2007-- Denver native Sierra Boggess performs as Ariel in the Disney Theatrical Productions musical The Little Mermaid, which premiered this week at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver. Joan Marcus/Disney (Disney | Joan Marcus)

                But the general public is love, love, loving "The Little Mermaid." How much? Turns out this run in Denver will go down as the biggest and most successful tryout in Disney Theatricals history. Truth.

                Every ticket made available to the public here will have been sold by the time the show closes Sept. 9, according to Disney vice president Jack Eldon. That's nearly 95,000 seats sold in 47 performances. Astonishing figures.

                And those ticket-buyers are the only people whose opinions much matter when it comes to Disney on Broadway. Tepid critical response to "Beauty and the Beast," "Aida" and even "Mary Poppins" had no impact on ticket sales.

                Critics were similarly unmoved by "Wicked," a might-as-well-be Disney phenom that caught fire only after 14-year-olds found something profound in it that the rest of us missed.

                Everyone wants another "Lion King," an unparalleled staging that employed revolutionary theatrical techniques. But purists forget that the stated purpose here is to simply bring a beloved animated Disney source film to the stage. That's what the audience wants. If Disney is guilty of anything here, it's of unwisely rewriting the climax.
                Read the full article at:
                "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                • #53
                  Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                  Salonga, Boggess, Crumm, Murney, Carmello, Gray and Groff Set for "Broadway on Broadway"

                  By Andrew Gans
                  11 Sep 2007

                  HairsprayLes Miserables), Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale), Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid), Debra Monk (Curtains), Laura Osnes (Grease), Max Crumm (Grease), Adriane Lenox (Chicago), Julia Murney (Wicked), Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Carolee Carmello (Mamma Mia!), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins), Orfeh (Legally Blonde), Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening), John Gallagher Jr. (Spring Awakening) and Tamyra Gray (Rent) as well as other cast members from and Wicked.

                  Presented by The League of American Theatres and Producers and the Times Square Alliance, the annual event will begin at 11:30 AM. Over 50,000 fans are expected to enjoy the concert that includes performances and/or appearances from stars of Broadway's musicals and plays.
                  "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                  • #54
                    Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                    Musical Numbers Announced for
                    Broadway on Broadway Concert

                    The song list for the performance follows:
                    "Why We Like Spelling" (from . . . Spelling Bee)
                    "For Now" (Avenue Q)
                    "When You're Good to Mama" (Chicago)
                    "I Can Do That" (A Chorus Line)
                    "Push Da Button" (The Color Purple)
                    "It's a Business" (Curtains)
                    "As We Stumble Along" (The Drowsy Chaperone)
                    "Summer Nights" (Grease)
                    "You Can't Stop the Beat" (Hairspray)
                    "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" (Jersey Boys)
                    "Bend & Snap" (Legally Blonde)
                    "I Dreamed a Dream" ()
                    "Part of Your World" (The Little Mermaid)
                    "One By One" (The Lion King)
                    "Dancing Queen" (Mamma Mia!)
                    "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (Mary Poppins)
                    "Find Your Grail" (Monty Python's Spamalot)
                    "All I Ask of You" (The Phantom of the Opera)
                    "Out Tonight" (Rent)
                    "The Wizard and I" (Wicked)
                    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                    • #55
                      Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                      Broadway's potential blockbusters

                      These four titles could turn into box office hits

                      The autumn features four big Broadway preems of new works including 'The Little Mermaid' (Dec. 6).

                      By Marilyn Stasio
                      September 19, 2007

                      Hollywood calls them "tentpoles," those B.O. blockbusters that hold up the whole industry. Legiters don't use that buzzword, but secretly they anticipate a few shows that will generate the kind of commercial frenzy that spills over to other shows. Here's why four titles have the potential to hold up the whole Broadway tent:
                      • "Young Frankenstein" because Mel Brooks' musical knocked 'em dead in Seattle and should bring back fans who loved "The Producers";
                      • "Rock 'n' Roll," because after his blockbuster "Coast of Utopia," Tom Stoppard's cred is golden, and because the play won raves when it preemed in London;
                      • "The Little Mermaid" because even without the might of the Disney machine, this lavishly staged musical comes off a hit movie with a universally admired score; and
                      • "August: Osage County," because how often does an original American play, even one written by a Pulitzer Prize finalist, knock the socks off theatrically savvy Chicago auds and make national critics swoon?
                      Fall 2007 looks great on paper. But then, so did "Lestat" and "Coram Boy" before they opened on Broadway.

                      "I never count my chickens before they're hatched," says Disney Theatricals prexy Thomas Schumaker, "and I'm still sitting on the nest."
                      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                      • #56
                        Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                        I've just found out that I could possibly be taking my first trip to New York to see FOUR Broadway Shows!! I'm going to find some way to see this.


                        • #57
                          Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                          Fresh Water: After Denver The Little Mermaid Gets Ready to Make a Splash on Broadway

                          By Adam Hetrick
                          17 Oct 2007

                          Sierra Boggess is The Little Mermaid.
                          photo by Joan Marcus

                          Disney's The Little Mermaid gets ready to make a splash on Broadway following its sold out out-of-town engagement in Denver.

                          The popular 1989 animated musical is credited with reinvigorating the animated musical genre, giving life to other Disney features, which have found their way to the stage, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Tarzan. Inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson tale, The Little Mermaid features a score by Academy Award winner Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, with new songs penned by Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. Grey Gardens book writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright for I Am My Own Wife, Doug Wright, adapts the popular animated feature for the stage.

                          Composer Alan Menken
                          Academy Award-winning composer Menken, who has provided the hit scores to numerous Disney features, says he relished the chance to revisit The Little Mermaid. "It's the greatest fun, to open up something that's complete. Whether it was perfect or not, it's beloved," he says. "Open it up, look at it again, have the ability to maybe fix some things that needed fixing. The ending was something that needed fixing in the movie. [One has] to find those song moments in between the other song moments that we couldn't have done for animation, but you absolutely can do for the stage. Once you open it up, if you know musicals, they're very interactive, and they talk to you. They go, 'Hello, I'm a moment that needs a song!' And you can't force them in, but you can pretty much feel where they belong. [You can] feel that Prince Eric, when he stands on the beach and is haunted by that voice, [that] there's an opportunity to make him a three-dimensional character. We wrote a really nuanced ballad for him that allows him to express his longing for the heart behind this voice.

                          "The fun is getting to play with this again, to find the moments that are natural extensions of what was there. Not to force it to go anywhere we didn't intend it to go, but at the same time deepen it. And that's the challenge. I live to write songs, you'll never hear me call it work."
                          Menken, who collaborated with his late writing partner Ashman on Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, "Aladdin" and The Little Mermaid, needed a lyricist who could seamlessly provide words for the score that would fit in with the legacy of work Ashman had left.

                          "Glenn and I have worked together for a long time. I had a sense of him as somebody with Howard Ashman-level abilities," Menken says. "It feels like sacrilege to say that anyone has Howard-level abilities, and Glenn would be the first one to say that, but Glenn was the lyricist who I knew could write a score that would be seamless with Howard's. I really think that Howard would approve of and love what we've done. It's seamless with what we've done before."

                          Sherie Rene Scott as Ursula
                          photo by Joan Marcus

                          Sierra Boggess in The Little Mermaid
                          photo by Joan Marcus
                          "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                          • #58
                            Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                            'Mermaid' swims to stage

                            WHAT IF you had an animated film that had been enthusiastically embraced for 18 years and you wanted to take it to Broadway...but almost the entire thing happens under water?
                            "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                            • #59
                              Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                              Broadway bounces back from strike

                              'Cyrano,' 'Mermaid' draw large audiences

                              'Cyrano de Bergerac' began to make up for revs lost
                              during the strike with a robust tally from five perfs.

                              By Gordon Cox
                              December 3, 2007

                              Broadway shook off the strike last week, and a string of returning shows hit the ground running, playing five or six perfs over the frame after Wednesday's resolution of the work stoppage.

                              Take "Cyrano de Bergerac" ($629,223), which in just five perfs pulled in a tally that would rep a robust showing for a straight play in an average eight-show week. (Show will get a chance to make up for the revenue it lost during the strike with a two-week extension of its limited run, now ending Jan. 6.)

                              Previewing tuner "The Little Mermaid" ($507,884) drew near capacity crowds, breaking the half-million mark in only four perfs.
                              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                              • #60
                                Re: 'The Little Mermaid' Broadway-bound star announced - 2/23/07

                                'Mermaid' fishes up Broadway dough

                                Previewing musical leaps 40% at box office

                                By Gordon Cox
                                December 17, 2007

                                Things are going swimmingly for "The Little Mermaid." In a week when many Broadway offerings began to experience the usual pre-Christmas slide, the previewing Disney tuner jumped by more than $350,000 to hit $1,024,744.

                                "Mermaid" was forced to delay its Dec. 6 opening by more than a month because of the recent stagehands strike. But as last week's B.O. indicates, the show, based on the popular 1989 animated pic, never much needed first-night press to boost awareness during the holiday frame. (New opening is set for Jan. 10.)
                                "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


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