Attention Central Arkansans who have a love of everything Disney: one of Disney's most beloved characters will take up residence at the Central Arkansas Performing Arts Academy (CAPAA) in Cabot for the next week.
This stage version, which is an adaptation of the Broadway production (which is an adaptation of the Disney movie, which is based on a Hans Christian Andersen story) is Little Mermaid, Jr. with emphasis on the "Jr." because it means that the cast mainly consists of student performers rather than adults.
In case you're one of the few who isn't familiar with the story, here is a summary from Music Theatre International (MTI), the company which licenses the production: "In a magical underwater kingdom, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home – and her fins – behind and live in the world above. But first she'll have to defy her father King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula, and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she’s the girl whose enchanting voice he’s been seeking."
This production will, of course, feature songs audiences may already know and love, including "Part of Your World," "She’s in Love," and the Oscar-winning (for Best Original Song in 1989) "Under the Sea."
Interestingly, CAPAA's production will feature two different casts of main characters, alternating each night through the course of the run. According to a promotional poster, area students who make up the casts include Becca Smith and Chloe Tibbett as Ariel; Josh Graham and Ian Gonzalez as Prince Eric; Jessica Smith and Carson Reaves as Scuttle; Josh Scott and Jason Peters (non-student) as King Triton; Caitlin Peters and Kinsey Hunnicutt as Flounder; Riley Hoffer as Ursula; Jordan Merrick as Sebastien; Analisa Wilson as Flotsam and Jenna McGhee as Jetsam. Other cast members (in alphabetical order) are Gabi Baltzley, Kaitlyn Branson, Katie Collins, Ashley Conley, Olivia Follee, Katie Foster, Ella Hollingshead, Alesha Lucas, Kyla Maddox, Caleb Mimms, Lexi Nila, Hanna Reynolds, Caroline Richards, Karly Sanders, Hannah Smith, Madison Sullivan, Grace Thompson, Lexi Urquhart, and Gabbie Ware.
The production begins on Thursday, June 5 with a media night and "pay-what-you-can" performance. The official opening night is Friday, June 6, and the production runs until Wednesday, June 11 with shows at 7 p.m. nightly. Tickets are available at www.mycapaa.org and, as of this writing, are sold out for opening night.
CAPAA's Little Mermaid, Jr. is produced by Danelle Hoffer, CAPAA's Executive Director, and is directed by Brandon Nichols, CAPAA's Artistic Director. Vocal direction is provided by Gabi Baltzley, and dance coaching is provided by Karen Rains.
CAPAA's address is 2061 West Main Street in Cabot.