The majestic red rock cliffs of Southern Utah have been magically transformed into an underwater fantasy of epic proportions as Tuacahn Center for the Arts presents the regional premiere of Disney's The Little Mermaid, which opened June 2nd, 2011 and will run through October 21st. So far the show is breaking records with nightly sold out audiences of 2000 plus. Having finished their highly successful season last year with the regional premiere of Disney's Tarzan, which broke all box office records with over $2 million in sales surpassing Tuacahn's 2008 production of Les Miserables, The Little Mermaid is set to be their best selling season yet. "The success of Disney's Tarzan contributed to receiving the rights to produce Disney's The Little Mermaid," says Scott Anderson, Tuacahn's Artistic Director and director of Tarzan and The Little Mermaid.
Starring as the spunky redheaded teenage mermaid Ariel is Michelle Pruiett. "I had understudied it on Broadway, so to actually have the opportunity to do the role and play it for such an extended period of time outside of New York ... I just had to jump at it," Pruiett said. Other theatre credits for Michelle include: First National Tour of Sweet Charity, Only A Kingdom at York Theatre Company, and Shirl Oilwell in Most Ridiculous Thing You Ever Hoid NYMF.
Other cast members leading the production include James Royce Edwards (Tarzan in Tuacahn's production last year, Broadway and First National Tours: Hairspray, Mamma Mia!, All Shook Up ), as Prince Eric. Lawrence Cummings (Broadway Revival Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, National Tour of Camelot) as Sebastian the crab, Heidi Anderson ( Regional: Mme. Thenardier in Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Off Bwy/First National Tour: The Phantom of the Opera - TheatreWorks USA) as the sea witch, Ursula, Vincent D'Elia (Broadway: Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Grease (1994), National/International Tour: Evita) as Scuttle the seagull, Christian Whelan (Little House on the Prairie, First National Tours: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels , Aida) as King Triton, and Matt Densky (National Tour: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Regional: Altar Boyz, Hair ) and Joey Tierno (National Tour: The Wizard of Oz, Regional: Tarzan at Tuacahn, Cats, Crazy For You) as Ursula's evil eel minions, Flotsam and Jetsam.
The rest of the cast is rounded out by: Ryan Anderson as Grimsby, Venny Carranza as Chef Louis, Caden Maynes and Payton Kemp as Flounder and Jennifer Stone as Carlotta .Male Ensemble: Jordan Dickison, Preston Ellis, Abe Hegewald, Tony Johnson, David Lamarr, Troy McGee, Ryan Ogburn, Joshua Putnam, Tim Roberts, Eddy Schumacher, Tino Smith Female Ensemble: Erica Bryce, Bridie Carroll, Molly DePola, Shari Jordan (Dance Captain), Crystal Kellogg, Daysha Pedersen, Annie Ramsey, Kim Sava, Alyssa Simmons, Kayla Smith, Bronwyn Tarboton, Kami Threlfall, Elizabeth Yeager
In preparing for Disney's The Little Mermaid, Tuacahn assembled a creative team who developed several unique production elements that take full advantage of Tuacahn's outdoor environment and water features. "Audiences coming to see The Little Mermaid will see the stage and surrounding area shift between underwater and land scenes through a combination of exciting special effects that have never before been used together in the production of a full-length Broadway musical," Mr. Anderson said. This includes an 80x30 ft. water screen that has projected animations to help convey the feeling of being under the water.
Disney's The Little Mermaid will perform each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from June 2 through October 21, 2011 and their second season production Grease will perform every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from June 9 through October 22, 2011. Tickets may be purchased online at www.tuacahn.org or via telephone at 435-652-3300 or toll free 866-321-8051.