DENVER, Colo., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ — With its final performance this Sunday, September 9 — after four weeks of previews and nearly three weeks of performances — Disney's pre-Broadway engagement of THE LITTLE MERMAID has sold out every ticket made available to the public in its run at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. With nearly 95,000 seats sold in 47 performances, this pre-Broadway engagement has been one of the most highly attended events in DCPA history and the most successful out-of-town tryout for Disney Theatrical Productions ever.
"The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is delighted to have had the pre-Broadway engagement of THE LITTLE MERMAID here in the gorgeous new Ellie Caulkins Opera House," said Randy Weeks, President and Executive Director of Denver Center Attractions. "This was the highlight of our year and we have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support and amazing response our audiences have shown. We greatly value our relationship with Disney Theatrical Productions, and have been honored to have this fantastic cast and crew here in Denver."
Noted by local critics to be "a lavish production" with "moments of glimmering magic" (Rocky Mountain News) and called an "intoxicating spectacle" (The Denver Post), Mermaid has delighted scores of Denver theatre-goers.
Making her Broadway debut as Ariel, Sierra Boggess (coincidentally a Denver native), was lauded by Denver critics as having an "ethereal voice" and "the spunk and sparkle of a girl capable of saving both herself and the prince" (Rocky Mountain News). Denver Post critic John Moore said of the actress, "Bet on it: This kid's gonna be a big Broadway star." Moore also noted, "The casting is impeccable…Boggess and Scott could be destined for Tony Award nominations."
"THE LITTLE MERMAID represents the quintessential Disney theatrical experience, and this imaginative, ambitious, and entertaining production brings a whole new level of excitement and audience involvement to this timeless tale," said Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney (Nachrichten/Aktienkurs) Studios. "We're thrilled by the audience response to the previews and performances in Denver, and feel strongly that the show is going to be a favorite with audiences on Broadway for a long time starting this fall. Thomas Schumacher and his team have done an incredible job bringing THE LITTLE MERMAID to the stage, and we're extremely proud of this latest milestone. It's clear from the Denver engagement that this production delivers all the magic, charm, and memorable music, and that the show met or exceeded even the highest expectations."
Ellie Caulkins, the namesake for THE LITTLE MERMAID's theatre home in Denver, commented, "I am so pleased that the City of Denver was able to create a beautiful opera house at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, a fantastic venue where audiences might experience a piece of history like this, as well as opera and ballet. On a personal note, I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to see this amazing production four times! I loved it all!"
Jack Finlaw, Director of Denver's Division of Theatres and Arenas, added, "I am elated that THE LITTLE MERMAID made its pre-Broadway premiere at our Ellie Caulkins Opera House. As the first Broadway musical to play the new opera house, this was a history-making engagement and a source of great pride that the entire City of Denver can share in. I hope the Denver run was just the beginning of a very successful engagement for THE LITTLE MERMAID, as well as the first of many future projects that involve a partnership between Disney Theatricals, Denver Center Attractions and the Ellie."
Featuring the Oscar-winning score and music from the beloved 1989 film, eight-time Academy Award(R) winner Alan Menken has written eleven new songs with lyricist Glenn Slater that blend seamlessly with those originally written with Howard Ashman. The book for the new musical is by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award(R) -winning playwright Doug Wright.
Led by director Francesca Zambello, THE LITTLE MERMAID's visionary team of artists includes Olivier Award winner Stephen Mear (choreography), George Tsypin (scenic design), Tatiana Noginova (costume design), Tony Award(R) winner Natasha Katz (lighting design), John Shivers (sound design), Angelina Avallone (make-up design) and David Brian Brown (hair design).
THE LITTLE MERMAID, based on the Disney film and the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, takes place in a magical kingdom beneath the sea, where a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she'll have to defy her father, the king of the sea, escape the clutches of an evil sea witch and convince a prince that she's the girl with the perfect voice. The pre-Broadway cast features Sierra Boggess as 'Ariel,' Sean Palmer as 'Prince Eric,' Norm Lewis as 'King Triton,' Tituss Burgess as 'Sebastian,' Eddie Korbich as 'Scuttle,' Jonathan Freeman as 'Grimsby,' Derrick Baskin as 'Jetsam,' Tyler Maynard as 'Flotsam,' Cody Hanford and J.J. Singleton as 'Flounder,' and Sherie Rene Scott as 'Ursula.'
Broadway previews of THE LITTLE MERMAID will begin at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street) on November 3, 2007, with an official opening on December 6, 2007. Visit http://www.disneyonbroadway.com/ for more information.
Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID has been part of Denver Center Attractions' 2007 season, which is generously sponsored by United Airlines. Media sponsorship is provided by The Denver Post, CBS 4, KOSI radio, Colorado Homes&Lifestyles magazine and Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Denver Center Attractions is supported in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts presents and produces live theatre with Broadway touring shows, cabaret productions and a professional theatre company. The DCPA is the site of training schools for actors, a voice research laboratory and unique rental facilities. Denver Center Attractions is a preferred stop on the Broadway touring circuit and has launched many national touring premieres. Center Attractions also produces cabaret shows. The Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company is the largest professional theatre company between Chicago and the West Coast. It produces traditional and contemporary drama and world premieres. For more information, please visithttp://www.denvercenter.org/.