PHOTO CALL: Disney’s Little Mermaid Flips Fins in Manila
By Matthew Blank
23 Nov 2011
The Manila production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid takes a new approach to the musical, incorporating Eastern and Western styles of design and puppetry to delineate its unique worlds.
Bobby Garcia, who has staged Next to Normal, Xanadu and Avenue Q for Atlantis Productions, directs The Little Mermaid alongside Chari Arespacochaga. The production will run Nov. 18-Dec. 11 at the Meralco Theatre.
Here is a look at the production:
The Manila engagement is among the first stagings of the musical since its Broadway run in 2008. The Little Mermaid will make its U.S. regional debut in June at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre and Center for the Arts in Utah. A U.S. national tour had been announced, but never surfaced. Music Theatre International licenses the property, which has also been producers internationally in Tel Aviv and Denmark.
Garcia and Arespacochaga have conceived a production in which the undersea kingdom will be designed using traditional Asian elements and the above-water world will be Western in theme. The Little Mermaid will incorporate puppetry ranging from Wayang shadow play, bunraku, nang kaloung and Western hand puppetry. Liz and Benny Batoctoy and Sam Fuentes will design and create the puppetry for the production.
The Little Mermaid in Manila features Ann Go and Erik Santos, as Ariel and Prince Eric, respectively. Also in the cast are OJ Mariano as Sebastian, Calvin Millado as King Triton, Jinky Llamanzares as Ursula,Ikey Canoy as Scuttle, Lee Viloria as Flounder, Felix Rivera as Flotsam and Jamie Barcelon as Jetsam.
The production boasts choreography by Cecile Martinez, set design by Lex Marcos, costume design by Erik Pineda and lighting design by Jay Aranda.
The Little Mermaid features songs penned by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman for the Disney film (“Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” among others) as well as ten new tunes by Menken and Glenn Slater. Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife, Grey Gardens) wrote the book.