Little Mermaid - The Stage Musical

This SHOULD be better than Tarzan Du Soleil....

The Little Mermaid Schedules London Movement Workshop
22 May 2006

Following Tarzan, now on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and Mary Poppins, scheduled to begin previews at the New Amsterdam Theatre in October, the next likely Disney musical is The Little Mermaid, based on the hit animated film of the same name. has learned that a one-week costume/movement lab for Mermaid will be held in London June 15-22. A spokesperson for the Disney musical told that "six London-based performers who have previously worked with choreographer Stephen Mear will be involved in the lab." No casting has been announced for the upcoming lab.

Variety has previously reported that David Ives will pen the book for the musical, which features a score by Alan Menken. Francesca Zambello will direct.

To date, Disney's Broadway offerings include Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida and Tarzan. Visit for more information.
Tarzan ROCKS! At Disney's Animal Kingdom was a good fun show that everyone liked, but that still didn't help the "Big Green Monster" known as Tarzan du Soleil on Broadway. ;D

It's a wait and see to right now for this workshop... I think that's what happened to the Julie Taymor production of Disney's Pinnochio... they couldn't get the right concept to work for stage.


While I personally think that the movie / the existing material of The Little Mermiad lends itself way more to a Boradway show than Tarzan this can only be one element in the future production.

Theme Park productions on the other hand must be treated very carefully if seen as a blue-print / pre-decessor for a broadway show. While something like Aladdin at DCA clearly is modeled after a classical theater production shows like Tarzan at DLRP or even more Animal Kingdom are devised under different conditions and have to consider different requirements and then also come up with something not readily transportable to the Broadway. I think this is also true for The Little Mermaid in Tokyo DisneySea.

First of all the show there never tries to tell the whole story of the movie but instead opts to just take a few scenes playing under the sea. Also it is staged as a theater in the round production - which, while possible and done before in NY, is not your conventional Broadway type production and has its own kind of problems (sets anyone for a 2 hour show?). Also the floating / wire-flying of Ariel is one of the main elements of the show in Tokyo DisneySea. It is really great - BUT she is not singing live there and with the amount of acrobatics she is doing (basically 90% of her time on stage) they would have to cut heavily back if they want a live singing Ariel on Broadway, which the audience may demand keeping in mind the high priced tickets there.

So I think while one might look for inspiration at some points to the theme park production (which is great) you still need to come up with a new concept for the Broadway.

The "Stunt Double" effect has been used in both the Broadway version and Theme Park versions of Beauty and the Beast. THAT worked, because it was a very short scene cast in shadows.

The "Stunt Double" effect was also used in DCA's ALLADIN (sp?). That didn't work too well because they flew the stunt double right into the audience where everyone could tell that wasn't the main actor playing the part. It cheapened the effect.

The difference between the two is that the magic of theatre works when you "sneak it in" instead of blantantly throwing it in. There's only so far an audience will go for believability. I'm sure the test will see how well the swimming effect and singing will merge. Heck, there's been ton's of shows where singing and flying happen... there's even been shows where parts of the mail vocals have been pre recorded difficult scene changes or special effects.

I'm rambling now... I need coffee.