The Little Mermaid will perform at the Hollywood Bowl in June. Ariel, who will be played by singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles, and Eric, who will be played by heartthrob of stage and screen Darren Criss, will have their love story performed in front of thousands with a 71-piece live orchestra. The cast will perform songs from the film and the Broadway version of the show. Rebel Wilson will play Ursula, the sea witch. Other cast members include John Stamos as Chef Louis, Tituss Burgess as Sebastian, and Norm Lewis as King Triton.
The idea for this performance-slash-concert came from the iconic co-composer of the show, eight time Oscar winner Alan Menken. He was discussing touring with his representative, Kraft-Engel Management co-owner Richard Craft, and “Richard said, ‘how would you feel about a live performance of The Little Mermaid with the film, orchestra and guest performers?’ I said, ‘you’ve got to be kidding. That would be unreal!,’” recalls Menken.
This will be the first time that the score is performed in its entirety since they recorded it 25 years ago. “That was my very first full score for a film,” he tells Billboard. “I was nervous and I learned an immense amount both in the writing and in the recording of the score.”
Some of the beloved songs that will be performed include “Under the Sea,” “Kiss The Girl,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Part of Your World,” which Bareilles recently performed when there were technical problems with her new Broadway play Waitress.
“I’ve been pretending I was Ariel in swimming pools since I was a little girl, and now I get to pretend on a bigger stage. This is just fantastic,” said Bareilles in a statement.
Wilson has called herself a Menken "fan girl" in a statement, and added that Ursula is “just such a delicious role that I’ve always wanted to play.”
Darren Criss, who seems to have been pulled straight from a Disney movie with the look and charms of a prince, is the perfect choice to play the noble (if not a bit daft) Prince Eric. However, fans might have been confused at first because he didn't really have a song to sing - a crime when someone has a voice like Criss does.
But there's hope, as The Hollywood Bowl performance will also include a few additional songs from the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid, including Menken's favorite, “Her Voice,” sung by Prince Eric. “I’m so excited about that,” he says. “Seeing the material from the movie wedded to the Broadway show will be incredible.”
Michael Kosarin will lead the orchestra and a 12-person choir.
There are plans to tour the concert, but there are “no concrete plans yet,” according to Menken. “For a lot of us, it’s wait and see how the Hollywood Bowl goes.”
How To: Buy a Pokemon Go Plus
Menken will open the Hollywood Bowl show with a medley of his best-known songs from Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Newsies, Enchanted, and Tangled. “Then I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show like everyone else,” he says.