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ANYTHING GOES - Press Release
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PRESS CONTACTS: Mike Ceceri | (978) 232-7200 x7222 | This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Director of Marketing, North Shore Music Theatre
Julie Arvedon Knowlton | (617) 401-6518 | This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Publicist, North Shore Music Theatre


June 3 - 15, 2014 - Tickets on Sale Now. 

Beverly, MA - North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) will open the blockbuster 2014 Musical Season with a sparkling all new production of ANYTHING GOES. This saucy tap dance spectacular will be on stage for two weeks only starting Tuesday June 3, and playing through Sunday, June 15.  Press night is scheduled for Wednesday, June 4 at 7:30 pm

"Following our records breaking 2013 season, I wanted to continue our tradition of opening the season with a beloved classic musical," said NSMT owner and producer Bill Hanney. "Working with our Interim Artistic Director Tony Parise, I have put together a great creative team and cast, and I am confident that Anything Goes will kick off this ambitious season in high style."

All aboard for Cole Porter's first-class musical comedy, ANYTHING GOES! Romance is in the air on the ocean liner SS American - but it's far from smooth sailing for the passengers. Its nonstop laughs and hijinks on the high seas in this show packed with spectacular dance numbers and many unforgettable Cole Porter songs including "Anything Goes," "You're the Top," "Friendship," and "It's De-Lovely."

North Shore Music Theatre's production of ANYTHING GOES will star Danette Holden as Reno Sweeney, Eric Ulloa as Billy Crocker, and  David Scott Purdy as Moonface Martin. ANYTHING GOES will also feature Alessa Neeck (Hope Harcourt), Michael Mastro (Lord Evelyn Oakleigh), Alaina Mills (Erma), Tom Gleadow (Elisha Whitney), Susan Cella (Mrs. Wadsworth T. Harcourt), James Van Treuren (Captain), Hugh Cha (Luke), and Carl Hsu (John)

The ensemble includes Victoria Casillo, Zak Edwards, Sarah Fagan, Rachel Fairbanks, Kaitlyn Frank, Shane Hall, Rashaan James II, Michael McCrary, Jason Pintar, Jake Primmerman, and Dawn Tucker.

The creative team for ANYTHING GOES is made up of Charles Repole (Director), Michael Lichtefeld (Choreographer), Milton Granger (Music Director), Bert Scott (Scenic Designer), Paula Peasley-Ninestein (Costume Designer), Martin E. Vreeland (Lighting Designer), Benjamin Furiga (Sound Designer), Gerard Kelly (Wig and Hair Designer), John Godbout (Production Stage Manager), Phill Madore (Assistant Stage Manager), Jihwan Kim (Assistant Music Director), and Binder Casting (Casting). ANYTHING GOES is produced for North Shore Music Theatre by Bill Hanney (Owner/Producer), Tony Parise (Interim Artistic Director), and Beth Vasta (Associate Producer).

Tickets for the ANYTHING GOES are priced from $50 - $75. Performances are June 3 - 15, Tue - Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri & Sat at 8 pm, matinees Wed, Sat and Sun at 2 pm. Kids 18 and under save 50% on ‘Family Fridays'- June 6 & 13 at 8 pm. For tickets and information call (978) 232-7200, visit, or visit the box office in person at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, MA.

Additional Free Audience Enrichment events: Meet the Theatrepost-show audience discussion with the artists on June 10 after the 7:30 pm performance and June 14 after the 2 pm performance; OUT at the North Shore, an evening for the Gay and Lesbian Community with a post-show reception (sponsored in part by Ryan & Wood Inc.) on June 12 after the 7:30 pm performance.

The 2014 musical season continues with Disney's The Little Mermaid (July 8 - 27), Grease (August12 -24), Chicago (September 23 - October 5),  Les Misérables, (October 28 - November 9),  and concludes with the return of New England's brightest holiday tradition A Christmas Carol (December 5 - 21), starring David Coffee as Ebenezer Scrooge.


Since 1955, NSMT has become one of the most attended theatres in New England, with approximately 250,000 patrons annually. With a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, NSMT has received numerous industry awards including Elliot Norton Awards, IRNE Awards, the Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors' Equity, and the Moss Hart Award. NSMT produced the World Premiere of Memphis in 2003, the show went on to win four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Under the new ownership of Bill Hanney in 2010, NSMT continues to annually produce a musical subscription series and an annual production of A Christmas Carol along with celebrity concerts and children's programming.


Disneys THE LITTLE MERMAID - Cast and Crew
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Adrienne Eller (Ariel) is thrilled to be performing at North Shore Music Theatre, singing songs she has loved to sing since kindergarten. Adrienne is going into her final year at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, pursuing a BFA in Drama at the New Studio on Broadway. Recent credits include: Rosa Bud in Drood (NYU), Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde (NYU) and Natalie in Next to Normal (Farmers Alley Theatre). Thanks to Mom and Dad, the New Studio family, and NSMT.   EllerAdrienne
Kecia Lewis (Ursula) has crafted her career playing powerful women. Broadway: Leap of Faith (original Broadway cast), Chicago, Shrek, The Drowsy Chaperone (original Broadway cast), Dreamgirls (original Broadway cast), Once on This Island (original Broadway cast), Ain't Misbehavin' (original Broadway cast revival), Big River, The Gospel at Colonus (original Broadway cast), Off-Broadway: Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination for Best Featured Actress). Regional: Dreamgirls (Ovation Award Winner for Best Lead Actress), Polk County (Bay Area Outer Critic's Circle Award Winner for Best Lead Actress), Raisin (L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award nomination), Sleeping Beauty Wakes, Hairspray, Smokey Joe's Cafe, South Pacific, The Sound of Music. Film/TV: Shelter (Fall 2014 release) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, "Law & Order" (original), "Law & Order SVU," "Crossing Jordan," "The Hughleys." Favorite role: Simon's mommy.   LewisKecia
Bruce Landry (Prince Eric) is making his North Shore debut! Bruce was last seen as Marius in Les Misérables; most recently at North Carolina Theatre and Riverside Theatre! Other credits include: The Light in the Piazza (Fabrizio), Floyd Collins (Homer), Hairspray (Link Larkin), and Pirates of Penzance (Frederic). Bruce is represented by The Mine and is a proud AEA member. Thanks to God, Mom and Dad, Ron Bermingham, and to all his new friends at NSMT! Ithaca College alumnus. Twitter: @BrucefLandry   LandryBruce
Mark Campbell (Triton) is thrilled to be making his North Shore debut. Mark grew up in the Midwest and at any given time was often the tallest object in any given direction. He fell in love with theatre while in James in the Giant Peach at 7, but hated singing until he saw Les Mis at 14 and realized how exciting two men singing loudly at each other about a loaf of bread could be. He most recently created the role of the Phantom for the 25th Anniversary tour. Prior to that, Mark toured the country clad in spandex and then a 72-piece wool suit in Mamma Mia and Guys and Dolls respectively. Favorite roles include Harold Hill in The Music Man, The Beast, Higgins in My Fair Lady, El Gallo and Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Love to my shockingly supportive family; both biological and hand-picked.   CampbellMark
J. Cameron Barnett (Sebastian) is making his NSMT debut. Cameron was last seen in the New England area as Jacob in La Cage aux Folles and Carmen Ghia in The Producers at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Selected credits: Magpie (Off-Bway), Hairspray (Arts Club and Mayfield Theatres), Xanadu (Arts Club), Buddy Holly (National Tour and Ordway Theatre), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Europe and South America), Hair (Europe, Emelin Theatre, and DCT), The Wiz (TUTS), Finian's Rainbow (Goodspeed Opera House), Five Guys Named Moe (Studio Arena and Geva Theatre), La Cage... (Riverside Theatre, Merry Go-Round and Ogunquit Playhouse), The Producers (Ogunquit Playhouse) and others. Film/TV: "Supernatural," "Blink" (pilot), "Continuum," "Fairly Odd Christmas 2," and YTV's "Mr. Young. Cameron would like to thank God for his many blessings. A very special thanks to SPD. More at "Tothebeeg!"
Freddie Kimmel (Scuttle) is thrilled to be at North Shore!  Credits include Billy Elliot (Tony u/s) 2nd National Tour, A Tree grows in Brooklyn (Willie) Off BWay, Ragtime (Houdini) Milwaulkee Rep, On The Town (Chip) Lucille Lortelle, White Christmas (Phil) Virginia Repertory Theater, Les Miserables (fueilly) P.C.L.O. Upcoming: Freddie is also very excited to be involved in creating Superfly over the last 2 years directed by Bill T Jones. Proud cancer survivor! Learn more. "livestrong"   KimmelFreddie
Shawn Platzker (Flounder) is so grateful to be making his NSMT debut with this production. Flounder was always his favorite little fishy friend, sorry Nemo - you were late to the party. This will be Shawn's second time swimming a mile in Flounder's scales and hopes you enjoy the journey. National Tours: The Buddy Holly Story. Regional: Grease, The Little Mermaid, Drowsy Chaperone, Over the Tavern. Shawn holds a BFA from The Boston Conservatory - big thanks to Binder Casting and the North Shore team for this fantastic opportunity.   platzkershawn
Benjamin Howes (Grimsby) hails from Australia where his credits include Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and Grease. Here in the U.S., his credits include Broadway (Scandalous, Mary Poppins, [title of show]), National Tours (Mary Poppins, Shrek The Musical), Off Broadway (Mint Theatre Company, Vineyard, Encores!), and many regional theatres including A.R.T., the Old Globe and Pittsburgh Public Theatre. His television credits include "Flight of the Conchords", "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and a small but glamorous recurring role on "One Life To Live" as Shakespeare-reciting drag queen, Alma Children. Full scoop at Twitter: @benjthestar     howesbenjamin
Jeremy Pasha (Flotsam) grew up seeing shows here at North Shore and is thrilled to be performing on this stage. Credits Include: Jesus Christ Superstar (Nat. Tour), The Music Man (Ogunquit), Seussical the Musical (Theaterworks), Boys Will Be Boys and Our Country (NYMF), Grease (Forestburgh), Supersoldier (MMAC). BFA, Syracuse. Thanks to Dave at Daniel Hoff, everyone at NSMT, and to my wonderful family and friends for their love and support.     PashaJeremy
Paul Louis Lessard (Jetsam) is thrilled to be making his North Shore Music Theatre debut! Previous credits include Sunset Boulevard (Portland Center Stage), La Cage aux Folles (The Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Big River (Music Theatre of Wichita), Chicago (Northern Stage). He is a recipient of the "Outstanding Individual Performance Award" for his work in the NYMF festival in NYC. Concert highlights include Lincoln Center, Birdland Jazz Club, and The National Opera Center. University of Michigan BFA. London Dramatic Academy. Thank You to Michael Einfeld Management, Binder Casting, and as always his amazing family and unparalleled friends and mentors.     LessardPaulLouis
Sissy Bell (Aquata, Ensemble, s/c Ursula) is thrilled to be making her NSMT debut while also fulfilling her dream of being a mermaid! She played Regina in the inaugural cast of Rock of Ages on Norwegian Cruise Lines, where she was also a vocalist for Burn the Floor. Other credits: Spamalot, A Christmas Carol (Palace Theatre), The Wild Party (S.O.S. Productions), The Great American Dance Project (Art.If.Act). BFA in Dance from the University of Arizona. Love and thanks, as always, to Mommy, my friends, family, and teachers for their unwavering support.   BellSissy
Daniel J. Edwards (Pilot, Ensemble, u/s Triton) is very thrilled to be performing at North Shore! He is a lover, not a fighter...unless he's fighting for love. Credits include, Broadway: Anything Goes Revival, Regional: Honeymoon in Vegas (Paper Mill), Disney's Mulan (Captain Shang at Tuacahn), Miss Saigon (CLO Toronto), NYC other: Hello, Dolly! (NAAP), Discover (NAAP), Heading East Reading (Robert Lee & BD Wong). Voice Over: Kritch/Kaninja in Yugioh Zexal. Follow him on twitter: @jackydan51   edwardsdanielj
Rachel Fairbanks (Arista, Ensemble, u/s Ariel), a Boston native, is excited to go under the sea with this incredible cast. She is a recent graduate of Penn State with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Recent favorites include: Hope Harcourt U/S (Anything Goes/ NSMT) Cinderella (Into the Woods/ PCS), Miss Adelaide (Guys and Dolls, PCS), and 42nd Street at PCLO. She would like to thank Beth along with the cast and crew for another wonderful experience. For mom and dad. AEA Proud.     FairbanksRachel
Grace Hardin (Andrina, Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her NSMT debut! Regional credits include The Donkey Show (Mia/Oberon) at The A.R.T., and Grease (Patti Simcox) and Joseph and the Amazing...(Potiphar's Wife) at The Summer Theatre of New Canaan. A recent graduate of The Boston Conservatory, Grace holds a BFA in Musical Theatre. Proud member of AEA. A huge thank you to the creative team, my friends and family, and BoCo 2013. For my mom. I couldn't do it without you.     HardinGrace
Carlynn Laurie (Adella, Ensemble) Laurie is a native Texan. She is happy to make her North Shore debut, and to be back on dry land after performing for Royal Caribbean Cruises (Hairspray/featured dancer). Regional Theatre: Divas (Palace Theatre) Cabaret, Cats, Beauty & the Beast, Stephen Schwartz Project (TUTS). Carlynn has studied with Ann Reinking, Broadway Dance Center, and Dance Educators of America. She is a BFA candidate at Sam Houston state University. Love to Ms. Toni and my wonderful family.   LaurieCarlynn
Michael McCrary (Gull, Ensemble, s/c Flotsam & Jetsam) is thrilled to be retuning to North Shore Music Theater in Disney's The Little Mermaid! He was seen previously in Anything Goes and A Chorus Line. Tours: Shrek, the Musical, OZ starring Diana Degarmo. Regional: Maine State Music Theater, North Shore Music Theater, Goodspeed Opera House, New London Barn Playhouse. Other: Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Jean Ann Ryan Productions. Thank you Beth, Michael, and Bill for this amazing opportunity.     McCraryMichael
Stephanie Moskal (Atina, Ensemble) is so excited to be back at NSMT, and to be going "Under the Sea!" Other Shows with NSMT: Singin' In The Rain, Hello, Dolly!, and The Wizard of Oz. A graduate of The Boston Conservatory, Stephanie has spent the past two years touring with Beauty and the Beast, most recently having played Babette. Thanks to all her friends and family for their constant love and support!     MoskalStephanie
David Scott Purdy (Chef Louis, Ensemble, u/s Sebastian) is excited to return for his second show with North Shore. Off Broadway: On Your Toes (Encores!) It's A Bird.. It's A Plane .. It's Superman (Encores!) A Christmas Story (Madison Square Garden. Regional: Forever Plaid (Starz P.A.C.) The Foreigner (Beef and Boards). All My Love to Kate. All my gratitude to Mom and Cleo.     PurdyDavidScott
Emma Ritchie (Allana, Ensemble) is delighted to be making her NSMT debut!! Most recently, Emma appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall and sailed the world performing aboard the Disney Wonder.  Her next adventure is playing Eliza in My Fair Lady at the Oldcastle Theatre!  Other credits include: Sandy in Grease (Paramount); Little Women, A Little Night Music, et al. (Gretna); A Christmas Carol (McCarter).  BFA, Syracuse University. Enormous gratitude to the North Shore team and Binder Casting, Mom, Dad, K, and Café 6E.     RitchieEmma
Sam Seferian (Gull, Ensemble, u/s Flounder & Scuttle) is so excited to be back at NSMT this summer after performing in The Wizard of Oz last season! A Winchester native, he just graduated from Penn State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre (Go State!). Past Regional credits include The MUNY, and Theatre By The Sea. Many thanks to Beth and everyone at NSMT for this incredible opportunity, and his amazing family!     SeferianSam
Scott Shedenhelm (Ensemble) is excited to be making his debut here at North Shore Music Theater. Scott was last seen in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (Gideon) and The Sound of Music (Rolf) at the Arizona Broadway Theater where he has also performed in Hello, Dolly! (Barnaby Tucker). He has performed in The Music Man at Arena Stages and in Paper Mill Playhouse's world premier of Disney's Newsies (Sniper).     ShedenhelmScott
Lucas Thompson (Gull, Ensemble, u/s Eric) is thrilled to return and go "under da sea" at NSMT, having recently played Munkustrap in Cats and Dermah in La Cage aux Falles! Credits: Good News! at Goodspeed Musicals, Westchester Broadway Theater's Fiddler on the Roof (Nachum/Russian soloist), North American Tour of Cats (Swing), and West Side Story (Snowboy) conducted by Broadway's Rob Fisher and directed by NBC's "Smash" choreographer Josh Bergasse. Other favorite roles include Anas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Larry in A Chorus Line, and Mr. McQueen in Urinetown the Musical. BM/MM Jacobs School of Music. Many thanks to Binder, Daniel Hoff Agency, and my incredible family/friends!     ThompsonLucas
Alan Menken (Music). Theatre: God Bless You Mr. Rosewater; Little Shop of Horrors; Real Life Funnies; Atina: Evil Queen of the Galaxy; Kicks; The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz; Beauty and the Beast; A Christmas Carol; Weird Romance; King David; Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame; The Little Mermaid; Sister Act; Leap of Faith and Newsies. Film: Little Shop of Horrors; The Little Mermaid; Beauty and the Beast; Newsies; Aladdin; Pocahontas; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Hercules; Life with Mikey; Lincoln (TV miniseries); Home on the Range; Noel; Enchanted; Shaggy Dog; Tangled and Mirror Mirror. Songs: Rocky V; Home Alone 2 and Captain America. Awards: eight Oscars® (19 nominations), 11 Grammy Awards® (including Song of the Year), seven Golden Globes®, Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics, Olivier and London's Evening Standard Awards. Honors: Songwriter's Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Doctorates from New York University and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  
Howard Ashman (Lyrics). Best known as a pivotal creative mind behind The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast (which is dedicated to "Our friend, Howard Ashman, who gave a Mermaid her voice and a Beast his soul...") Ashman's first love was theatre. Ashman was a founder of Off-Off-Broadway's renowned WPA Theater, where he conceived, wrote and directed God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, as well as the classic musical, Little Shop of Horrors (both music by Alan Menken). In 1986, he wrote and directed the Broadway musical Smile (music by Marvin Hamlisch). Lamented as a lost treasure of the 1980's theatre scene, Smile remains popular on high school and college campuses throughout the country. Ashman's family is thrilled that Ashman and Menken's original songs for Aladdin, some of which were cut in the making of the film - as well as portions of Ashman's original film treatment - have been reinstated in the theatrical production. Howard Ashman died in 1991 from complications of AIDS. For more information, please visit  
Glenn Slater (Lyrics). Broadway: Disney's The Little Mermaid (2008 Tony Award Nomination - Best Score, Grammy Nomination - Best Cast Album). West End: Sister Act the Musical (2009), Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies (2010, Olivier Nomination - Best Musical). Regional: Leap of Faith (Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, 2010). Off-Broadway: Newyorkers (Manhattan Theatre Club, 2001, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations). Film: Disney's Home On The Range (2004), Disney's Tangled (2010, Oscar and Golden Globe Nominations - Best Song). Awards: The Kleban Award for Lyrics; the ASCAP/Richard Rogers New Horizons Award; the Jonathan Larson Award. Upcoming: Houdini, with composer Danny Elfman, The Hudsucker Proxy, with composer Stephen Weiner, and Beatsville, with composer/lyricist/wife Wendy Leigh Wilf. Glenn lives in New York City and has two sons, Benjamin and Daniel.  
Doug Wright (Book) won the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for I Am My Own Wife in 2004. He received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his book for the Broadway musical Grey Gardens. He was nominated for the Drama Desk for the Brodway Musical Hands On A Hardbody. He also authored the book for the stage incarnation of Disney's beloved film The Little Mermaid. In 2009, he adapted and directed August Strindberg's Creditors for La Jolla Playhouse in a production that was named Best Play of the Year by the San Diego Critics Circle. His stage work has been seen internationally in countries from Japan to Romania. Mr. Wright won an Obie Award for his play Quills. He went on to write the screenplay adaptation, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and received the Writer's Guild of America's Paul Selvin Award. The film garnered three Academy Award nominations and was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review. Other notable film work includes production rewrites on major releases at Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and The Weinstein Company. For director Rob Marshall, he penned the television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic, which received seven Emmy Awards. Mr. Wright currently serves on the boards of the New York Theater Workshop, Yaddo and the Dramatists Guild. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and of the Writer's Guild ofAmerica.  
Michael Heitzman (Director) is honored to be working at NSMT for the first time.  As an Associate Director, he has worked on Disney's Beauty and the Beast/Paris, The Little Mermaid/Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, and Dallas Summer Musicals and will set Disney's Beauty and the Beast in Moscow this fall.  Michael is the director of The Lortel Awards and received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for his direction of the musical VICES.  He is also a Grammy nominated writer with longtime collaborator, Ilene Reid.  They are represented on Broadway with their song "Throw That Girl Around" from the musical Swing!, Off-Broadway with their musical Bingo (The Winning Musical) and will workshop their new musical, Solana, in October.  He dedicates this production to friend and mentor, Glenn Casale.
AC Ciulla (Choreographer) Broadway/National Tour: Footloose (TONY nomination). Off-Broadway: Lucky Guy (The Little Shubert- Callaway Award nomination), The Bubbly Black Girl... (Playwrights Horizons-Lucille Lortel nomination), Ghetto Superstar (The Public Theater), Last Smoker In America (The Westside Theater). Regional: Vices: A Love Story (Caldwell Theater- Carbonell Award Best Choreography), Stephen Sondheim's Being Alive (Westport Country Playhouse), Chess starring Matthew Morrison (Ford Amphitheater), The Plexiglass Slipper (Asolo Rep), The Yiddish Coming (Denver Arts), Barrio Babies (Denver Theater Center). Vegas: Toni Braxton: Revealed (Flamingo), Signed Sealed Delivered starring Chaka Khan (Venetian), and Nights on Broadway II & III (Dir/Chor, Caesar's Atlantic City). Multiple film, television and commercial credits. 2003 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Choreography of a Television Special" for Stars on Ice. AC appears as a guest choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance (UA).  
Bruce Barnes (Music Direction) previously served as Music Director on Damn Yankees, Peter Pan, Nunsense II at North Shore Music Theatre. He made his Broadway debut conducting Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby, and served as Associate Conductor of the Sam Mendes production of Cabaret at Studio 54. Off-Broadway, Bruce was Musical Director for Class Mothers '68, starring Priscilla Lopez and served as Pianist/Conductor for the interminably successful Nunsense. Internationally, he has toured with La Scala's production of West Side Story and as a Musical Ambassador for Lincoln Center's "Meet the Artist" program. National tours include Kiss Me, Kate, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret and Peter Pan and the promotional tour of Nunsense 2, starring Rue McClanahan for the A&E Network. Bruce was also featured as the voice of "Tinkerbell" in the A&E Television adaptation of "Peter Pan." As a pianist, Mr. Barnes has accompanied a range of artists including Patti LuPone, Beverly Sills, Billy Porter and Eartha Kitt
Howard C. Jones (Scenic Design). Past NSMT design credits include Legally Blonde, My Fair Lady, Bye, Bye Birdie, Contact, Forever Plaid, Hairspray, Singin' in the Rain ‘05, ‘92, Fame, Swing!, Cats, Chicago, Footloose ‘02, Carousel, Sweet Charity, Student Prince, Victor Victoria, Annie, Carnival, Crazy For You, Will Rogers Follies, Phantom, Showboat, South Pacific, Brigadoon, City of Angels, Guys and Dolls, Nunsense 2, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Camelot ‘91 and the annual production of A Christmas Carol. Mr. Jones has been a member of the faculty of the N.C. School of the Arts for the past 15 years. Before that he was the founder and owner of Cobalt Studios, an apprentice painting studio, in upstate New York. Other credits include Goodspeed Opera, Starlight Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, CLO in Pittsburgh, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Virginia Opera and the American Heartland Theatre. Mr. Jones was proud to be included in the World Stage Design Expo 2005. He received the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Designer in June 2000 and several times has been awarded Best Design by KC Drama Desk.  
Kurt Alger (Costume & Wig Design). Maine State Music Theatre: Costume Designer: Les Misérables, Gypsy, Mary Poppins,42nd Street, Legally Blonde, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Xanadu, The Wiz, Always...Patsy Cline, Chicago, Spamalot, JCS, Light in the Piazza and Drowsy Chaperone. Wigs: Producers, All Shook Up, Les Misérables, West Side Story, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Grand Hotel, Hairspray.  Kurt has traveled the country and the world as head of Wardrobe on RENT, Hairspray, and the 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Misérables. Resident theaters include Fulton Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Orlando Shakespeare, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Riverside Theatre, Beef and Boards and Drury Lane. NYC credits include NTMTF Best of Fest winners Caligula, Such Good Friends, Things As They Are, and Les Enfants de Paris, and work on the Off-Broadway smash hit Shockheaded Peter! Kurt designed and produced the world premiere of Born Blue.  Other: A graduate of Wagner College in NYC he has also worked designing at the academic level at Julliard, NYU, Wagner College, and University of Southern Maine.  
Kirk Bookman (Lighting Design) has designed many NSMT shows in the past including Guys and Dolls, Legally Blonde, Bye, Bye Birdie, Abyssinia, Aida, West Side Story ‘03, Mame, I Sent A Letter To My Love, Carousel, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Annie, The Music Man, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. In addition he has designed the lighting for numerous New York productions, including Charles Busch's The Divine Sister, What Then at the Ohio Theater, The Cook at Intar Theatre 53, Recent Tragic Events at Playwrights Horizons (starring Heather Graham), and Shanghai Moon at Drama Department (starring Charles Busch). For the National Actors Theatre on Broadway: The Sunshine Boys (Jack Klugman and Tony Randall), The Gin Game (Julie Harris and Charles Durning), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Right You Are. For the Irish Repertory Company in New York, his presentations include Bedbound, Playboy of the Western World, Eclipsed, The Importance of Being Earnest and Major Barbara. Other New York productions include Mondo Drama, Havana is Waiting, Force Continuum, My One Good Nerve (starring Ruby Dee), The Green Heart at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Shawl, Rude Entertainment, The Book of Liz (David and Amy Sedaris), Les MIZrahi (Isaac Mizrahi), Hope is the Thing with Feathers, As Thousands Cheer and June Moon. Regionally, Mr. Bookman has designed at such notable theaters as Goodspeed Opera House (East Haddam, Connecticut), Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Pittsburgh Public theater. Ballet credits include the English National Ballet, Santiago Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet and the Kansas City Ballet. Projects with the San Francisco Symphony include The Thomashefskys, Of Thee I Sing, Oedipus Rex, The Nightingale and A Flowering Tree directed by Peter Sellars. Upcoming: the full length ballet Tom Sawyer (music by Maury Yeston).  
Charles Coes (Sound Design). North Shore Music Theatre: The Sound of Music. New York: Cherry Lane: Dreams of the Washer King. The Mint: The Butterfly, Louis Armstrong Jazz Ambassador, Wanda's Monster. HERE: User 927, Holy Land. The Wild Project: The Realm. Broadway Associate: Velocity of Autumn, Macbeth, Glass Menagerie, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Grace, Peter and the Starcatcher, Chinglish, In The Next Room. Regional: Shows at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Yale Rep, Seattle Rep, Berkley Rep, Two River, Arts Emerson, The Guthrie, The Wilma, Williamstown. Art instalations with Anne Hamilton, Luis Roldan, and Alberto Morel. Sound Design for spectaculars on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, allure of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas.  
Paul Rubin (Flying Choreographer) has been choreographing flying sequences since 1988. His work has been seen on Broadway in Wicked, The Pirate Queen, Curtains, Peter Pan, Saturday Night Fever, Frozen, Dance of the Vampires, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Green Bird. Off Broadway and touring productions include; Angels in America, Edward the Second, SpongeBob Squarepants (U.K. tour) Dora the Explorer, Seussical the Musical, and Doctor Doolittle. Paul created the aerial sequences for the world premier productions of; Disney's The Little Mermaid (currently playing in Holland, Moscow and Tokyo), The Who's Tommy, Frank Wildhorn's Dracula, Yeston and Kopits's Phantom, Creature from the Black Lagoon the Musical, and Casper starring Chita Rivera. For television, his work has appeared on shows including The Rosie O'Donnell Show, the Tony Awards, Entertainment Tonight and CNN. He has worked with performers including Michael Crawford, Neil Patrick Harris, David Hyde Pierce, Howie Mandel, Cathy Rigby, John Turturro, and Paula Abdul. For more information visit and twitter @theflyguy  
ZFX, Inc. (Flying Effects) Broadway: Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby; The Green Bird; Kiss Me, Kate; Dance of the Vampires; Wicked, Saturday Night Fever; Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me; Fiddler on the Roof and Frozen. National tours: Seussical the Musical, Blues Clues Live, Spiderman Live and Dora the Explorer. Television: A&E's "Peter Pan," CNN, the Tony Awards and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show."  
John Godbout (Production Stage Manager) is very happy to be returning for his fourth season at NSMT. Past credits include Anything Goes, La Cage Aux Folles, Cats, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, All Shook Up, Annie, Hello, Dolly!, Tarzan and My Fair Lady. He also serves as resident stage manager at The Cleveland Play House. John has also worked at Capital Repertory Theatre, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Weston Playhouse, Shakespeare & Company, Worcester Foothills Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre and Seaside Music Theatre.  
Phill Madore (Assistant Stage Manager) is now working on his second season at NSMT. Regional Credits St. Ex and Souvenir (Weston Playhouse Theatre Company). Recent Boston credits include Master Class, LUNGS, Fully Committed, and Long Day's Journey into Night (New Rep). Phill was the resident stage manager at Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre for 7 seasons where he worked on over 75 production including the complete stage works of Samuel Beckett and J.M Synge. Phill trained at Point Park University. Many thanks to his husband Shawn.  
Luke Flood (Assistant Music Director) happily returns to NSMT after serving as Assistant Musical Director for last season's The Wizard of Oz. Recent regional credits include Les Misérables, Chicago, My Fair Lady, and Bye Bye Birdie (Reagle Music Theatre). Luke has also subbed on the National Tour of Sister Act. He has collaborated with such artists as Anita Gillette, Gerry McIntyre, Sarah Pfisterer, and Angie Schworer. Flood studies Piano Performance at UMass Amherst, where he recently won the Undergraduate Accompanist Award.  
Binder Casting/Jason Styres, CSA (Casting) with Jay Binder, CSA, Jack Bowdan, CSA, Mark Brandon, CSA, and Jason Styres, CSA, have cast over 70 Broadway shows including Dames at Sea (upcoming 2014), A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Born Yesterday, The Miracle Worker, Finian's Rainbow, Brighton Beach Memoirs, A Chorus Line, Gypsy, 39 Steps, White Christmas, Is He Dead?, Inherit The Wind, Journey's End, Butley, Virginia Woolf, Sweet Charity, Wonderful Town, Movin' Out, 42nd Street, Music Man, Iceman Cometh, Charlie Brown, Sound of Music, Beauty & the Beast, Last Night of Ballyhoo, Chicago, King & I, Damn Yankees, Lost in Yonkers, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, The Goodbye Girl and every City Center Encores! production since its inception in 1994. Film/TV/Other: Carousel (NY Philharmonic/PBS), Six by Sondheim (HBO), So You Think You Can Dance, West Side Story (San Francisco Symphony), Hairspray, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Nine. Ten-time Artios Award winner.  
Bill Hanney (Owner / Producer) is honored and proud to have been responsible for the re-opening of the nationally renowned North Shore Music Theatre in 2010. He began his career in show business at age 19, leasing and developing movie theaters, including his first multiplex in Quincy, Massachusetts. Before long, he was booking rock shows (Jefferson Starship, Rush) and other types of live entertainment, which eventually led to the presenting and producing of Broadway productions. One such show was an appearance by the legendary mime artist, Marcel Marceau. As president of Broadway Productions, Bill presented national tours such as Annie, Amadeus, Dancin', Peter Pan, Rocky Horror Show and Mark Twain starring Hal Holbrook, throughout New England including Worcester, Springfield, Portland, Maine and Boston. Aside from his work operating North Shore Music Theatre, one of Bill's crowning achievements was the 2007 purchase and re-opening of Theatre by the Sea, a landmark 500 seat professional summer theatre and restaurant, which is beginning its eighth successful year of operation in Matunuck, RI ( Throughout his career, Bill has stayed focused on his movie theatre chain having bought, built, owned, operated and sold more than 30 cinemas. His company, Entertainment Cinemas, currently operates eight movie complexes in four states. In 2009, Bill was elected President of the Theatre Owners of New England. Bill's ongoing work with NSMT inspires him to consider acquiring additional performance venues at which he plans to someday share his productions between his theatres. Bill is a member of the League of Broadway Producers and is currently a Lead Producer on the Broadway-bound revival of Sugar Babies. Bill has been named to the North Shore Top 100 by the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. In 2012 he was recognized by both the Beverly Chamber of Commerce and Salem Chamber of Commerce as Business Person of the Year. In addition to his work with NSMT and TBTS, Bill is also involved with the Broadway revival of Pippin at the Music Box Theatre  
Tony Parise (Interim Artistic Director) Mr. Parise, began his theatrical career as a performer. He appeared in the national tour of A Chorus Line, and was on Broadway in 42nd Street, Me and My Girl, and City of Angels. Off-Broadway Tony was nominated for a Lucille Lortel award for his choreography of the wacky new version of Pirates of Penzance that was presented on the good ship Peking docked at New York's South Street Seaport. Other credits are Pageant, Raft of the Medusa, Balancing Act, and the American Premiere of Cameron Mackintosh's Moby Dick ...a whale of a tale. He spent ten years with Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, seven years with the Inner Circle Shows, and six concerts with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Parise also choreographed Bernadette Peters in both her Carnegie Hall and Radio City debuts. He has been the Artistic Director of Camp Broadway for sixteen years. Regionally, Mr. Parise has directed and/or choreographed Hello, Dolly! (Madeline Kahn), Mame, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Cinderella, The Music Man, Crazy for You, Funny Girl, South Pacific , The Sound of Music, On the 20th Century, You Can't Take It With You The Wizard of Oz, Smokey Joe's Cafe, A Christmas Story, and national companies of Grease!, Anything Goes, 42nd Street and Me and My Girl (Tim Curry). Mr. Parise was given the Bay Area Critics' Best Director award for ME AND MY GIRL, and received the Goodman Drama Logue Award for his direction of Crazy For You at the American Musical Theatre of San Jose. In the Boston area Mr. Parise has directed the Hasty Pudding Theatricals at Harvard University since 1996. He created Tap! for Fleet Boston's family music series. He directed and choreographed the operetta Isabella at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. He wrote and staged historical vignettes celebrating Mass General's 250th birthday. He directed and staged At Swim, Two Boys and Dames at Sea at Northeastern University, and at North Shore Music Theatre, he directed and choreographed Me and My Girl, Where's Charlie? (Jo Sullivan and Emily Loesser), Oliver (Ellen Greene), and La Cage aux Folles, Internationally, Mr. Parise has mounted companies of 42nd Street in London, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea, Me and My Girl in Mexico City, Anything Goes in Berlin, and has choreographed for Italian TV. Mr. Parise co-authored Sophie... the Red Hot Mama Revusical as well as three original children's musicals; Cinderella Girl, Goldie Locks, and The Witch of Pirate Island.  
Beth Vasta (Associate Producer) is thrilled to be entering her 10th season with North Shore Music Theatre. Before coming to NSMT, Beth received her Bachelor's Degree from Rutgers University, NJ and her Masters in Sports Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. She then served as the Director of High Performance for the United States Field Hockey Association, where she worked with the Olympic Team Coaches and HP Staff strategizing on Team USA's path for International and Olympic success. After spending 13 years with US Field Hockey, and traveling the world as the USA Team Manager/ HP Director at the Olympic Games, World Cup, and Pan American Games, Beth decided to pursue her other passion in life: music and theatre. She moved from Colorado to Massachusetts to join Blue Man Group Boston as their Company Manager. After several years at Blue Man, she came on board at NSMT, and has been here ever since. She still keeps connected to the sporting world with a part-time job at the Boston Garden (Bruins and Celtics), and cheers on the Red Sox as well. Beth is grateful to the amazingly talented Producers and Artistic Directors she has had the honor to work for and with at North Shore Music Theatre, as they have all helped shape her vision as an Associate Producer. Most importantly she thanks Jon Kimbell, John LaRock, Lars Nelson, Arianna Knapp, Tony Parise and Bill Hanney for their unfailing support throughout the years.  
Music Theatre International ( is one of the world's leading dramatic licensing agencies, protecting the rights and legacy of composers, lyricists and book writers and supplying scripts, musical materials and other theatrical resources to theaters around the world. MTI has been a driving force in extending the production life of such great musicals as Annie, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Damn Yankees, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, Ragtime, as well as Disney's The Little Mermaid. With more than 250 titles in its catalogue, including hits from the Broadway and London stage, musical revues, the Broadway Junior Collection and other youth musicals, MTI shows have been performed by more than 45,000 amateur and professional theatrical organizations throughout the U.S. and in over 60 countries around the world.  
Actors' Equity Association (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence.  
North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) Since 1955, NSMT has become one of the most attended theatres in New England, with approximately 250,000 patrons annually. With a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, NSMT has received numerous industry awards including Elliot Norton Awards, IRNE Awards, the Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors' Equity, and the Moss Hart Award. NSMT produced the World Premiere of Memphis in 2003, the show went on to win four 2010 Tony® Awards including Best Musical. Under the new ownership of Bill Hanney in 2010, NSMT continues to annually produce a musical subscription series and an annual production of A Christmas Carol along with celebrity concerts and children's programming.  
Disneys THE LITTLE MERMAID - Press Release
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  PRESS CONTACTS: Mike Ceceri | (978) 232-7200 x7222 | This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
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July 8 - Extended thru July 27, 2014 - Tickets on Sale Now.

 CLICK HERE to download hi-res publicity photo.
"Photo courtesy of North Shore Music Theatre"

Beverly, MA - Bill Hanney's award winning North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) is set to take family audiences on an underwater musical adventure with the New England Premiere of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID. This highly anticipated theatrical event has already been extended for an extra week with performances starting Tuesday July 8, and now playing through Sunday, July 27.  

 "I am delighted that Disney has allowed North Shore Music Theatre to be one of the first professional theaters in the country to produce The Little Mermaid. This is the New England premiere," said NSMT owner and producer Bill Hanney. "The artists at North Shore Music Theatre have been working for months to bring this spectacular show to life on stage and to make it the magical "must-see" show of the summer."

 Journey "under-the-sea" to a magical underwater kingdom, with the beautiful young mermaid Ariel who longs to leave her ocean home 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. Based on the Academy Award-winning 1989 Disney film and one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories, Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages.

Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID has a book by Doug Wright and a score that has Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's music from the original Disney film including  "Part of Your World," "Poor Unfortunate Souls," "Kiss The Girl," and the Oscar winning "Under The Sea."  There are also several brand new songs written for the stage by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.

North Shore Music Theatre's production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID will star Adrienne Eller (Ariel), Kecia Lewis (Ursula), Bruce Landry (Prince Eric), Mark Campbell (Triton), J. Cameron Barnett (Sebastian), Freddie Kimmel (Scuttle), Shawn Platzker (Flounder), Benjamin Howes (Grimsby), Jeremy Pasha (Flotsam), and Paul Louis Lessard (Jetsam).

The ensemble of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID includes Sissy Bell (Aquata), Daniel J. Edwards, Rachel Fairbanks (Arista), Grace Hardin (Andrina), Carlynn Laurie (Adella), Michael McCrary, Stephanie Moskal (Atina), David Scott Purdy (Chef Louis), Emma Ritchie (Allana), Sam Seferian, Scott Shedenhelm, and Lucas Thompson.

The creative team for Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is made up of Michael Heitzman (Director), AC Ciulla (Choreographer), Bruce Barnes (Music Direction), Howard C. Jones (Scenic Design),  Kurt Alger (Costume & Wig Design), Kirk Bookman (Lighting Design), Charles Coes (Sound Design), Paul Rubin, The Fly Guy (Flying Choreographer), John Godbout (Production Stage Manager), Phill Madore (Assistant Stage Manager), Luke Flood (Assistant Music Director), and Binder Casting (Casting). Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is produced for North Shore Music Theatre by Bill Hanney (Owner/Producer), Tony Parise (Interim Artistic Director), and Beth Vasta (Associate Producer).

Tickets for the Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID are priced from $50 - $75. Performances are July 8 - 20, Tue - Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri & Sat at 8 pm, matinees Wed, Sat and Sun at 2 pm. Added performances are July 24 at 2pm and 7:30pm, July 26 at 2pm and July 27 at 2pm. Kids 18 and under save 50% on ‘Family Fridays'- July 11 & 18 at 8 pm. For tickets and information call (978) 232-7200, visit, or visit the box office in person at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, MA. Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is sponsored by Beverly Hospital, a member of Lahey Health.

Additional Free Audience Enrichment events: Meet the Theatrepost-show audience discussion with the artists on July 15 after the 7:30 pm performance and July 19after the 2 pm performance; OUT at the North Shore, an evening for the Gay and Lesbian Community with a post-show reception (sponsored in part by Ryan & Wood Inc.) on June 17 after the 7:30 pm performance.

The 2014 musical season continues with Grease (August12 -24), Chicago (September 23 - October 5),  Les Misérables, (October 28 - November 9),  and concludes with the return of New England's brightest holiday tradition A Christmas Carol (December 5 - 21), starring David Coffee as Ebenezer Scrooge.


 Since 1955, NSMT has become one of the most attended theatres in New England, with approximately 250,000 patrons annually. With a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, NSMT has received numerous industry awards including Elliot Norton Awards, IRNE Awards, the Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors' Equity, and the Moss Hart Award. NSMT produced the World Premiere of Memphis in 2003, the show went on to win four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Under the new ownership of Bill Hanney in 2010, NSMT continues to annually produce a musical subscription series and an annual production of A Christmas Carol along with celebrity concerts and children's programming.

Disneys THE LITTLE MERMAID - Reviews
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At North Shore, a buoyant ‘Little Mermaid'
By Terry Byrne
JULY 11, 2014

"Disney's The Little Mermaid" lands at the North Shore Music Theatre with a satisfying splash, making imaginative use of the arena's circular stage, multiple entrances, and creative set pieces to transport audiences from under the sea to dry land and back again.

 Director Michael Heitzman has not only found some powerhouse performers for the principal roles, he's created a remarkably fast-paced flow for the show, keeping it moving even when some of the numbers added for the transition from the 1989 hit film to the 2008 Broadway production slow the action to a crawl. It's not that the additional songs are weak - in fact, "Positoovity" serves as a terrific second act opener and "She's in Love" is a fun spoof of '60s girl groups - it's just that the late Howard Ashman was a lyricist with that rare combination of sincerity and sharp, sly wit. Lyricist Glenn Slater is certainly competent, and the stage show needed more than the film's seven songs, but several of the Menken/Slater songs feel uninspired and pad the show rather than add interest.       

As the mermaid Ariel, NYU undergrad Adrienne Eller has a singing voice that sounds exactly like the film's Jodi Benson on "Part of Your World," but she adds her own bit of playfulness and personality to the role. Her sidekicks Scuttle the seagull (Freddie Kimmel) and Flounder the fish (Shawn Platzker) have had their roles beefed up, with Scuttle opening the second act with "Positoovity" and Flounder hamming it up as a skater boy with a crush on Ariel. As Sebastian the crab, Ariel's sometime guardian, J. Cameron Barnett doesn't quite master the island rhythms made famous in "Under the Sea," but he does display the comic chops that kept my eight-year-old companion excited about his every appearance.

As Prince Eric, the love interest for whom Ariel swaps her mermaid tail for legs, Bruce Landry has a knockout voice, but unfortunately he's given the filler songs "Her Voice" and "One Step Closer." Landry and Eller have enough chemistry together to keep our interest, and Doug Wright's book offers just the right amount of dialogue to tie the scenes together neatly while offering enough time for Howard C. Jones's impressive set changes. My favorites include Heitzman's simple addition of puppets on sticks to represent schools of fish, jellyfish, and other sea creatures; some judicious flying sequences; and the appearance of Prince Eric's ship, which magically turned a round stage into an elongated boat and then collapsed the bow into the stern as a storm rocked the seas and sent Eric overboard. 

But no matter how clever the direction, this production of "The Little Mermaid" belongs to Kecia Lewis, who plays Ursula the Sea Witch with a delicious combination of sassy blueswoman and evil sorceress. Lewis's voice rocked the rafters with "Poor Unfortunate Souls," and the use of both her eight-legged gown and her hench-eels Flotsam (Jeremy Pasha) and Jetsam (Paul Louis Lessard) - who glide around the stage on Heelys - was so commanding it was almost sad to see her destroyed.

Bruce Barnes conducts the 12-piece orchestra through Menken's spritely score with a joyful sense of rhythm that keeps up with Heitzman's flow without ever feeling rushed. The North Shore Music Theatre's production is of such high quality that it stands on its own as an engaging adaptation of the beloved film.

By Jan Nargi
July 18, 2014

North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass. is presenting the New England premiere of Disney's much-loved THE LITTLE MERMAID through July 27, and it's just the right, light summer fare for families to enjoy after a fun day at the beach. Revamped and retrofitted for regional theaters after the overblown Broadway production sank under its own weight, this lovely musical retelling of the original Hans Christian Andersen tale (and the Disney animated film based on it) floats along buoyantly upon familiar tunes, clever costuming and design elements, and strong performances by the entire cast.

NSMT creates two distinct worlds for the denizens of THE LITTLE MERMAID: one a shimmering, colorful undersea paradise from which the mermaid Ariel (a sparkling Adrienne Eller) longs to escape; the other the sun-drenched, raucous "world above" whose mysterious humans both fascinate and frighten the creatures below. When the handsome Prince Eric (a silken-voiced Bruce Landry) falls overboard during a storm and Ariel saves him from drowning, their worlds become inextricably connected, with each seeing in the other a path to salvation from places in which neither feels at home.

Eric is haunted by Ariel's beautiful, siren-like voice and vows to find her by listening for her song. Ariel, meanwhile, is forbidden by her father, King Triton (a stern Mark Campbell), from returning to Eric and the dangerous world above. Determined nevertheless to see what it's like to be human and reunite with her love, Ariel defies her father and seeks the help of her powerful aunt Ursula (the show-stopping Kecia Lewis), an exiled evil sea witch who is only too happy to grant Ariel's wishes - for a price. That price is Ariel's mesmerizing voice, which Ursula locks away for herself in a magical oyster shell orb.

Now finless and silent, Ariel is without the very quality that Eric so desperately seeks. Can this handsome prince see past his obsession and recognize Ariel for the beautiful soul she is inside?

THE LITTLE MERMAID borrows liberally from any number of other Disney reincarnations to tell its romantic fish tale. As in Cinderella, there is a ball ("The Contest") to which all of the princesses in the land are invited in order to find a suitable mate for the prince. As in Beauty and the Beast, servants invite Ariel to "be their guest," as it were, serving an unending parade of fish dishes in "Les Poissons." Instead of two ugly step-sisters, Ariel has six - jealously whining and preening in "Daughters of Triton" and "She's in Love."

No matter, because the talented NSMT cast makes each cartoonish moment ring true and brings freshness to the familiar in a way that is hugely entertaining. Eller and Landry sing passionately and earnestly ("Part of Your World," "One Step Closer") while longing to find their own adult "voices." Campbell is just the right combination of authoritative King of the sea and concerned and loving father ("If Only") while J. Cameron Barnett as Ariel's crab guardian Sebastian gets the whole ocean swaying to a calypso beat in "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl."

Lewis is a tour de force as the giant squid Ursula, slithering, undulating, seducing, and using her devilishly booming belt to sarcastically pity all those "Poor Unfortunate Souls" who bottom feed while she diabolically rules. Lewis squeezes every ounce of irony and humor from her insincere lamentations and enjoys herself thoroughly even as she bemoans her lot as an overlooked woman in a male-dominated world.

Adding to the sea foam froth are the fast-talking seagull Scuttle (Freddie Kimmel); the lovesick skate-boarding Flounder (Shawn Platzker); the sibilant and synchronized twin electric eels Flotsam and Jetsam (Jeremy Pasha and Paul Louis Lessard), who glide effortlessly on heelies; and the outrageous French chef Louis (David Scott Purdy). Benjamin Howes as Grimsby is the perfectly befuddled guardian to Prince Eric, and Sissy Bell, Grace Hardin, Rachel Fairbanks, Stephanie Moskal, Carlynn Laurie and Emma Ritchie as Ariel's Mersisters would be equally at home in California's "valley" as in Disney's deep blue sea.

The first act of THE LITTLE MERMAID seems a tad long for the little ones, but there are enough visual treats to keep even those unfamiliar with the Disney animated film stimulated. The entire score is beautifully sung, and the sound system and 12-piece orchestra are perfectly balanced so that voices sound natural and nuanced.

As with all of Disney's stage adaptations, there's nothing particularly ground-breaking in THE LITTLE MERMAID. Jokes are corny - or, in this case, fishy - and, no surprise, the princess ends up with her handsome prince. But the Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Glenn Slater score is undeniably catchy and the North Shore Music Theatre's production is exuberant and lots of fun.

So leave your boogie boards at the beach and grab your snorkels. It's time to dive under the sea.

'Little Mermaid' provides visual, vocal feast
By Sally Applegate
Wicked Local

Jul. 10, 2014

The New England premiere of "Disney’s The Little Mermaid" is a visual and vocal feast at North Shore Music Theatre. The show’s eccentric characters are fully realized, and everyone in the cast sings with extraordinary voices, dressed in dazzlingly original costumes.

Filmy fish swim gauzily through the air, while less flimsy characters like Scuttle the Seagull and Ariel the little mermaid spend a lot of time flying overhead with the help of wires.

The plot concerns the yearning of Ariel, the youngest daughter of King Triton, to live in the sunshine-filled world of humans, even though she is loved and protected by the many denizens of the deep.

A few surprises during the evening include silly sea puns like, "Squid Pro Quo," and "As long as you’re living under my reef you’ll obey my rules," and a visual bombshell as gigantic octopus tentacles burst from the floor to grab Ariel. There are plenty of zippy dance numbers.

The evening is filled with gifted performances, but topping them all is the formidable Kecia Lewis as the evil Ursula. The audience erupts in applause at the sight of Ursula’s multi-tentacled costume on her first entrance. Soon they are cheering and applauding her knock-em-dead characterization and singing, and her overpowering stage presence as she combines mirth and menace. Her rendition of "Poor Unfortunate Souls" is a showstopper, and her speaking voice is as remarkable as her singing voice.

Adrienne Eller is a natural, wholesome Ariel in a refreshing and animated performance. Her voice is strong, lovely and versatile. She has sweet dance numbers with the human prince of her dreams, and an unusual barefoot tap dance with the ensemble.

Turning in a sincere and convincing performance as Prince Eric is Bruce Landry, bringing a fine baritone voice to the role. Landry and Eller act out the show’s love story without getting icky.

Another winning performance, full of quirky physical comedy and terrific singing, is from J. Cameron Barnett as that rascally Rastafarian crab, Sebastian. The audience goes nuts over this guy, and his rendition of "Under the Sea" is everything this audience came in expecting.

The imposingly tall Mark Campbell makes a masterful Triton, and his versatile voice can turn mellow and touching, as it does in the wistful "If Only." The song is later reprised in an intricate contrapuntal quartet featuring Ariel, Prince Eric, Sebastian and Triton.

What a great big voice from a little fish as Shawn Platzker has fun as Flounder.

Another big voice belongs to Freddie Kimmel, often airborne during this performance as Scuttle the seagull. "Kimmel has a fun song and dance number with three other seagulls during Act II.

The six pretty Mersisters of Ariel are funny in finny costumes, and fine singers and dancers. Sissy Bell, Grace Hardin, Rachel Fairbanks, Stephanie Moskal, Carlynn Laurie and Emma Ritchie have a ball performing two big numbers in Act I.

David Scott Purdy tears up [and chops up] the stage in a maniacally funny performance as Chef Louis, wearing a wonderfully eccentric costume.

Jeremy Pasha as Flotsam and Paul Louis Lessard as Jetsam are vivid and entertaining as Ursula’s two crafty henchmen. Also fine singers, they have some neat harmonic episodes in Ursula’s big musical number "Daddy’s Little Angel."

Benjamin Howes plays Grimsby, the subtly seasick guardian of Prince Eric, with pomp and circumstance.

The opening night audience was full of young children – definitely a fun adventure for the entire family.

Hooked by NSMT's production of Disney's 'The Little Mermaid
By Sean Leonard
Jul 11, 2014

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but there’s only one Little Mermaid, and she’s appearing this month at Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre in a production that is ‘Positoovity’ phenomenal.

NYU student Adrienne Eller is brilliant in the lead role as Ariel, with an angelic voice and spot-on vocals even while floating above the stage – err, the ocean floor – during her heartfelt rendition of “Part of Your World.” Bruce Landry is perfectly cast as Prince Eric, the tall and dashing object of Ariel’s affection. And when the two finally meet in Act II, after Ariel has traded her voice for human legs in a pact with her evil and bewitching Aunt Ursula, her prince teaches her to communicate through dance during a mellifluously choreographed number, “One Step Closer.”

Actress Kecia Lewis’ Ursula is alternately ominous and hilarious as the nemesis, and exercises an incredibly powerful voice that seems would bellow across the oceans.

Another standout in this cast of standouts is J. Cameron Barnett as Sebastian, a crab who is a servant to Ariel’s father, King Triton (Mark Campbell), and who watches over the youngest of Triton’s brood of seven mermaids.

Barnett’s rendition of the catchy classic “Under The Sea” has the audience swaying, and his comedic timing is perfect throughout the show, especially when he nearly ends up on a dinner table being served to the human Ariel and her prince.

Yes, Little Mermaid is a story for the younger set -- and there were plenty of children in the audience at Thursday’s opening-night including some decked in mermaid costumes. But as Eller pointed out in a recent interview with The Item, the story also has an adult theme: A rebellious girl who is coming of age, who feels she doesn’t belong and who argues with her father to let her go to the world where she feels she does. This show resonates with all ages, and puts smiles on faces of children ages 4 to 94.

Tip of the hat also to the NSMT Orchestra. Conductor Bruce Barnes and his pit orchestra of 11 musicians are truly hidden stars of this show and listening to the score is itself a treat.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid has been extended a week, with performance to run through July 27, so there are plenty of opportunities to catch the show, or more precisely, let it catch you.

The production also stars Freddie Kimmel (Scuttle), Benjamin Howes (Grimsby), Paul Louis Lessard (Jetsam), Jeremy Pasha (Flotsam) and Shawn Platzker (Flounder). The ensemble includes Sissy Bell (Aquata), Daniel J. Edwards, Rachel Fairbanks (Arista), Grace Hardin (Andrina), Carlynn Laurie (Adella), Michael McCrary, Stephanie Moskal (Atina), David Scott Purdy (Chef Louis), Emma Ritchie (Allana), Sam Seferian, Scott Shedenhelm and Lucas Thompson.

The creative team is made up of Michael Heitzman (director), AC Ciulla (choreographer), Bruce Barnes (music director), Howard C. Jones (scenic designer), Paula Peasley-Ninestein (costume coordinator), Kirk Bookman (lighting designer), Charles Coes (sound designer), Kurt Alger (wig designer), John Godbout (production stage manager), Phill Madore (assistant stage manager), Luke Flood (assistant music director) and Binder Casting (casting).

"The Little Mermaid"  
Reviewed by Sheila Barth                
Independent Newspapers (and
July 17, 2014

From its rousing overture to its storybook finale, North Shore Music  Theatre's (NSMT) production of Disney family musical "The Little  Mermaid" is a delightful romp under and on the sea, through the air, and  on fantasy-laden terra firma.

It's especially exciting because this musical version was updated and created specifically for the Beverly theater-in-the-round.

 It also marks the return home of Winthropite bright star, Stephanie  Moskal, who performed with the national tour of "Beauty and the Beast"  for the past two years, and portrays mermaid sister, Atina. She also  sings and dances as several ensemble characters. 

The 22-member cast, skillfully directed by Michael Heitzman, captivates  every youngster and young-at-heart theatergoer. Okay, maybe the  continuous puns are groaners, but little kids giggle and older folks  laugh approvingly.

The production also boasts superior musicianship - namely Music  Director-Conductor Bruce Barnes, and 12 marvelous musicians, who enhance  Charles Coes' magical sound effects. 

This production isn't doom-and-gloomy, like Hans Christian Andersen's  original version of the fairytale he wrote in 1837. Since then,  Andersen's native country, Denmark, unveiled the now-famous statue of  the little mermaid in Copenhagen Harbor in 1913; Japanese filmmakers  released an anime film in 1975; Disney created its own animated film in  1989, and the revised, charming tale, with its happily-ever-after  ending, swept stages on Broadway, nationwide and internationally since  2008. 

 Ariel, sweet, youngest daughter of widowed King Triton, is blessed with  her deceased mother's hauntingly beautiful voice - a gift that none of  her six, lovely sisters has, along with her unceasing curiosity. From  the time she rescues shipwrecked Prince Eric, she is determined to leave  the sea, gain sealegs, and win his love, even if it means making a pact  with her evil sea witch aunt, Ursula. Rising star, New York University  senior, Adrienne Eller, is ideal as Ariel, with her fresh-faced  appearance and lovely voice. Eller and Bruce Landry as Prince Eric are  sweet together, especially during their shy, romantic encounters that  culminate in their joyous wedding day.

 At NSMT, besides Doug Wright's award-winning, upbeat book, with lilting  music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (Glenn Slater also co-wrote a few  new songs with Menken for this stage version), this New England  premiere of "The Little Mermaid" is uniquely special, with set designer  Howard C. Jones' simplistic set, fantastic stage effects and props. From  a richly imagined underwater kingdom, with bubbly water to murky  depths; from a ship asea, with its bells and whistles, including rope  ladders, captain's wheel, the ship's prow, deck, etc., to Ariel's secret  undersea shrine to all things human; King Triton's underwater empire  and Prince Eric's castle kitchen and banquet hall, "The Little Mermaid"  is one enchanting illusion after another.

 Merely presenting so elaborate a production in the round is magical.   The actors use the aisles, elevate and descend from a hidden elevator,  in a large, circular hole in the stage. Aided by Fly Guy, (flying  choreographer Paul Rubin, who has staged award-winning productions of  "Mary Poppins," "Peter Pan," and other hits), Ariel swims to the top of  the sea, attached to a harness and wire. Feathery Scuttle the Seagull  (Freddie Kimmel) flies across the stage, flapping his invisible wings;  and more.  Meanwhile, iridescent umbrellaed jellyfish undulate in the  aisles.

And AC Ciulla's choreography keeps the show moving swimmingly.  Underwater creatures move and breathe as though they are swimming,  floating. Ballet and tap numbers are creative, energetic, and  enchanting. 

 But wait! That's not all! Deep in the kelpy, inky, waters, evil sea  witch Ursula (the octopus) reigns, spouting and hatching her malignant  demands and horrible plots to steal Ariel's beautiful voice, destroy her  own brother, King Triton, (regal Mark Campbell), then rule and churn up  the seas. Kecia Lewis as Ursula is superlative. When she vents her  malevolence in bombastic, mocking renditions of "Daddy's Little Angel"  and "Poor Unfortunate Souls,"  the theater vibrates, her voice ringing  to the rafters. 

 Kurt Alger's lavish costumes, from Sebastian the Crab's (crowd-pleaser  J.Cameron Barnett) bright red torso, to King Triton's regal shell crown  and glittering body, to Ariel and her sisters' mermaid outfits, and  Ariel's mid-air transformation to a maiden with legs are dazzling eye  candy. So are Flounder the Fish's  (Shawn Platzer) sunshiny, yellow  costume, a stark contrast to black-tentacled Ursula's two creepy,  slithery assistants, electric eels Flotsam (Jeremy Pasha), and Jetsam  (Paul Louis Lessard). This duo's synchronized antics are shocking -  literally - bizzzzzing, buzzzzzzing, and zapping at Ursula's bidding.  As Ariel wants to become "Part of Your World," and live in "The World  Above," theatergoers of all ages will love this encounter "Under the  Sea". 

NSMT’s ‘Mermaid’ is blue heaven
By Rich Fahey
July 11, 2014

Take some Disney magic, add some more magic from the designers and actors at the North Shore Music Theatre, and the theater’s traditional July family musical is a spectacular singing, dancing treat for all ages.

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is on stage in Beverly through July 27, and it’s is a very worthy successor to the 1989 Oscar-winning animated movie, and a treat for the eyes and ears.

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved children’s stories, “The Little Mermaid” is the story of an underwater kingdom, and the beautiful young mermaid named Ariel, who longs to leave her ocean home behind and live in the world above.

But along the way she’ll have to defy her father, King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula, and convince Prince Eric that hers is the voice the prince has been seeking.

Adrienne Eller has been rehearsing to play Ariel since she was just a little girl — check out the photos of her on this web site — and she captures both the vulnerability of a young girl and her character’s steely determination to explore a world above that fascinates her.

Her professed desires concern her loving father King Triton (Mark Campbell) — Ariel happens to be the youngest of seven daughters — to the point where he assigns the crab Sebastian (J. Cameron Burnett) to monitor her movements.

Ariel happens to be in the right place at the right time when a storm shipwrecks Prince Eric (Bruce Landry), and her voice captivates him.

Ariel longs to exchange her fins for legs and pursue the prince, so she makes a deal with King Triton’s sister, the evil sea witch Ursula (Kecia Lewis). She enters the world above, and the ride gets very bumpy until the happy ending.

Burnett is a hoot as the Jamaican-accented Sebastian, whose reggae-flavored renditions of two award-winning songs — “Under The Sea,” and “Kiss the Girl” — are vocal highlights.

Freddie Kimmel is funny as the Norm Crosby-like, word-mangling seagull Scuttle, and Shawn Platzker is fine as Ariel’s bewildered fish buddy Flounder.

Special mention to David Scott Purdy, who stepped in for Eddie Mekka and did a fine job in NSMT’s “Anything Goes” and here has a nice comic turn as Chef Louis in the “Les Poissons” number.

NSMT owner Bill Hanney has unleashed a talented corps of designers, and this is a great-looking and great-sounding show.

The imaginative costumes were designed by Kurt Alger and created from scratch at the Maine State Music Theatre and worn for the first time at this production.

Howard Jones’ clever scenic design for the undersea world pairs nicely with the lighting of Kirk Bookman and Charles Coes’ sound design.

There’s some great techno-wizardy involving a scary entrance by the part-human, part-octopus Ursula near the end of the show.

The “flying” — or aerial swimming, if you will — is well-designed by Paul Rubin.

AC Ciulla’s choreography is sprightly, fast, funny and spectacular when called for, especially in the jaunty, toe-tapping, Oscar-winning “Under The Sea;” watch for the flying jellyfish.

Director Michael Hertzman ties it all together in a neat theatrical bow.

One of the biggest stars of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” remains the score, with many of the songs written for the 1989 animated film, by the songwriting team of Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, who died in 1991. They are augmented by new tunes written by Menken and Glen Slater. Songs from the film such as “Part of Your World” and “Poor Unfortunate Soul” meld well with the Menken-Slater pieces such as “World Above” and “If Only.” The score is given a feisty, spirited rendition by an orchestra led by Bruce Barnes.

Yes, kids will love “The Little Mermaid,” but with a fine score, strong voices, creative choreography, and dazzling special effects, there’s a lot for theater-goers of all ages to like.

Circling the Square (Community Events Column)
By Myrna Fearer
July 17, 2014

If you want to flip your tail and flap your fins, you've got to swim over to the North Shore Music Theatre to see the wonderful production of "The Little Mermaid." OK, you don't have to swim over; driving there will do. Karen Kane and I were still under its spell on the way home from the theatre Thursday night. What struck us was that "The Little Mermaid" was indeed a visual delight and much more. It was definitely a "Positoovity" evening, as in the song mewed by Scuttle and his fellow seagulls. (I have it on good authority -- the Merriam Webster dictionary -- that mew is the name for the high-pitched squawking sounds seagulls make.) 

I don't know what to talk about first, the magnificent, amazing, and extraordinarily creative costumes and underwater scenery or the superbly talented actors. The staging and costuming challenges and teases our senses and we, too, become part of this kingdom under the sea. It's the only time you will be in the deep without needing any breathing apparatus. The show is a sardine packed evening interspersed with outbursts of fin-flapping moments of audience response. Sorry, there are so many clever puns in the show including "Squid Pro Quo" it's easy to get carried away. Even the kids laughed loudly at the fishy quips. You get it; the show is cleverly funny and the audience, from the youngest to the oldest, will appreciate the humor.

I can't even fathom all the planning and technology that went into creating this beautiful underwater kingdom that titillates the imagination. I prefer to just go with the magic and enjoy the experience. Since the movie came out in 1989, more than a generation ago, many of you grew up with the animated Disney film and even shared it with children and grandchildren. But seeing it on stage -- a circular one at that -- is a fantastic and unbelievable experience. Topping it off is an extraordinary cast.

From the moment she swims on stage Adrienne Eller is Ariel. I have to explain that mermen and mermaids adeptly adopt the-up-and-down fishlike body movement so well they actually appear to be swimming. Ariel is adorable, petite and perky and blessed with enormous talent and a beautiful voice. It's almost impossible to visualize anyone else in that role. Eller is certainly bringing quite a resume into her last year at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU where she'll be earning her BFA in Drama at the New Studio on Broadway. Kecia Lewis is a powerful and imposing contrast as the wicked Ursula and I don't mean that negatively. Her acting is a tour de force. Wait until you see her made up as the duplicitous octopus aunt manipulating her tentacles making them seem as if they had minds of their own. Lewis is a commanding presence in all of her scenes and when she belts out, "Poor Unfortunate Souls" you'll be glad you're not one of them.

Then again, I could say that most of the actors are unforgettable. One crustacean you've got to love is the intrepid Sebastian played by J. Cameron Barnett. Sebastian is loyal, comical, clever, subservient and even sweet when, with a twinkle in his eye he's brought to life by Barnett. I don't know whether Barnett is Sebastian or Sebastian is Barnett, all I do know is he's outstanding. You will also admire the merman King Triton portrayed by Mark Campbell; Bruce Landry as the handsome Prince Eric rescued by Ariel only to fall in love with her; Grimsby, Prince Eric's right-hand man played by Australian Benjamin Howes; and David Scott Purdy, who is side-splittingly funny as Chef Louis. Those of us who saw Purdy as Public Enemy #13 in "Anything Goes," weren't surprised that the talented actor makes his role shine in this production as well.

We can't leave the make-believe world of "The Little Mermaid" without praising the performances of Shawn Platzker as the faithful flounder hopelessly in love with Ariel and Fredrick Kimmel as the know-it-all seagull Scuttle imparting misinformation as he flies through the air. Just a reminder that you only have until July 27 to go "Under the Sea" at the North Shore Music Theatre and you don't want to be one of those "Poor Unfortunate Souls" to miss it. Oh, and by the way, don't be surprised if you never look at fish the same way again.

The Little Mermaid
Reviewed by Tony Annicone
Theatre Mirror
July 11, 2014

The second musical of North Shore Music Theatre's 59th season is the New England premiere of Disney's "The Little Mermaid". The show is based on the Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson as well as on the 1989 Disney movie "The Little Mermaid". It tells the story of Ariel,a beautiful mermaid who dreams about becoming human after rescuing a handsome prince from drowning. This goes against her father King Triton and his adviser, Sebastian's warnings that contact between humans and merpeople is strictly forbidden. To become human she enlists the aid of the evil seawitch Ursula who decrees that she must kiss the prince in three days or Ariel's beautiful voice will be Ursula's forever. The audience sits on the edge of their seats waiting to discover if true love can overcome all obstacles? The Broadway adaptation opened in January, 2008. Director Michael Heitzman picks the best performers to fill these roles while choreographer A. C. Ciulla creates some inventive dance numbers for them to perform. Musical director Bruce Barnes taught the cast the melodic songs and conducts a superb 12 piece orchestra. One of the highlights of this musical is the special effects and the high flying characters. Their combined expertise wins them a spontaneous standing ovation at the end of the night, capturing the hearts of audiences of all ages.

Leading this cast is Adrienne Eller as the beautiful Ariel. She captures this vibrant character wonderfully. Adrienne's beautiful voice is heard in "The World Above", "Part of Your World", and "Beyond My Wildest Dreams" with Carlotta. The most intricate and melodic number is the quartet song "If Only" sung with Eric, Triton and Sebastian. Adrienne is a senior at NYU. Tall, dark and handsome Bruce Landry also shines as Prince Eric. He displays his strong singing prowess in "Fathoms Below", "Her Voice" and "One Step Closer". They have terrific chemistry together, making the audience root for a happy ending.

Kecia Lewis steals many scenes as the malevolent, Ursula. She stops the show with her "Poor Unfortunate Souls" which closes the first act. Kecia also sings "Sweet Child" with Flotsam and Jetsam. Another commanding presence is Mark Campbell as Triton who delivers a multilayered performance as the worried parent while scolding Ariel and later defending her from Ursula. He moves the audience to tears at his tender rendition of "If Only" three separate times and "The World Above". The biggest scene stealer of this show is J. Cameron Barnett as Sebastian. His "Under the Sea" mesmerizes the audience with his stunning voice and this turns into a wild and crazy colorful dance number. He also sings "Kiss the Girl" and is a master of comic timing, winning sustained laughter throughout the show.

The two most comical numbers in the show are "Positoovity" sung by Scuttle and "Les Poissons" sung by Chef Louis. They both turn into wild and crazy dance numbers that stop the show with their brilliant execution. Freddie Kimmel shines as Scuttle as does David Scott Purdy as Chef Louis. David last played the scene stealing Moonface Martin in "Anything Goes". Shawn Platzker struts his stuff in "She's in Love" the 1950's style number with Ariel's sisters. Daniel Edwards displays his strong singing voice in "Fathoms Below". Kudos to the whole cast on their dynamic singing and dancing, capturing the hearts of every member of the audience. So for a trip under the seas be sure to catch "The Little Mermaid" in its New England Premiere at North Shore Music Theatre. This is one of the must see musicals of the summer season.

Magical, Musical Adventure Under the Sea at NSMT
By Shelley A. Sackett
July 17, 2014

The North Shore Music Theatre has outdone itself with a spectacular production of "The Little Mermaid." Part Mardi Gras, part Dr. Seuss, the creative costumes, thrilling choreography and brilliant sets are a heady combination. Add spot-on casting and Oscar-winning music, and the Disney musical is a must-see show.

The production is faithful to the 1989 Disney film (at two and a half hours, perhaps a little too faithful), and fans of the movie will savor their favorite scenes. They are all there.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, "The Little Mermaid" takes place in a magical underwater kingdom, where Ariel, a headstrong young mermaid, longs to live in the world of humans above. Her father, King Triton, is dead-set against it. The petulant teenager eventually gets her way, and her journey from fin to feet is full of danger, dance and drama.

As Sebastian the crab, J. Cameron Barnett steals the show. When he is onstage, it is impossible to look anywhere else. Kecia Lewis is a formidable Ursula and her minions, Jeremy Pasha (Flotsam) and Paul Louis Lessard (Jetsam), are superb. Adrienne Eller's (Ariel) voice is so crystal clear that it is no wonder she is able to snag a human prince with it.

'Little Mermaid' Makes Big Splash at North Shore
by Mike Hoban
Boston Events Insider
July 14, 2014

As a middle-aged man with no kids, I must admit that I was not looking forward to seeing/reviewing the North Shore Music Theatre's (terrific) production of "The Little Mermaid" as much as say, "Chicago" later this season. But given that NSMT consistently delivers high quality productions, I figured it was worth the trip from Boston for a theater experience, regardless of the material. I am pleased to say that it was more than well worth the trip, despite the usual traffic jam on 93 getting to the theater from Boston, (which I could have minimized by leaving earlier).

Based on the animated 1989 Disney film of the same name and the classic story of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, the story follows familiar themes of not fitting in and following your heart, but with a brilliant score and a first-rate cast, this is not just a show for the kiddies (as I had feared). Although there certainly were plenty of (well-behaved) tykes at the show, many of them dressed up as characters from the movie/musical, this show will appeal to all ages. I must admit that I had never seen the original movie or a stage version, so I was very taken by the clever mix of pseudo-mythology and plain old great storytelling in the narrative.

For those of you not familiar with the plot, we quickly learn the Ariel (played brilliantly by NYC student Adrienne Eller), the seventh and youngest daughter of King Triton, ruler of the seas, is fascinated with the human world, which we discover as she touchingly sings in the opening number ("The World Above"). Her father does not want her interacting with humans, whom he holds responsible for the death of his wife and queen, Athena. But above the sea is the soon-to-be object of her affection, Prince Eric and his shipmates. Ariel and the Prince fall for each other when he is blown overboard during a storm and she rescues him, setting the stage for romance. As with all Disney classics, there's also a healthy dose of evil thrown in, in the form of Ursula the Sea Witch, King Triton's sister who was banished from the king's court for using black magic.

One of the great strengths of this show is its diverse and engaging score, which adds doo-wop, Caribbean ("Under the Sea")and girl group numbers ("She's in Love") to the more standard Broadway musical structures, and also adds a great comic number in "Positoovity". And this talented cast knows how to make the most of this well-conceived material. Eller is a joy to watch and listen to, especially during "Part of Your World", after she falls for the Prince. Kecia Lewis is a vocal powerhouse as Ursula, with the pipes of a blues belter, and she shines on "Poor Unfortunate Souls". Another gem was the brilliant ensemble number "If Only" by the quartet of Prince Eric (Bruce Landry), Ariel, King Triton and Sebastian, the crab. As Sebastian, J. Cameron Barnett is masterful, and does a nice job on the "Under the Sea" number. And as King Triton, Mark Campbell brings a truly regal presence, complete with a booming tenor befitting a prototypical powerful king. Freddie Kimmel also does a nice comic turn as Scuttle, the Norm Crosby-inspired gull.

Scenic designer Howard C. Jones and costume designer Kurt Alger set the stage by creating a beautiful and very believable undersea world, which is all the more impressive given that the story requires multiple scene changes from both above and below the surface. The costuming is dynamite, with the brilliant colors of the animated original brought beautifully to the stage. This is a really fun production, with a great cast. You don't have to be a kid to enjoy it, but it will certainly bring out the kid in you.



“NSMT's production is of such high quality that it stands on its own as an engaging adaptation of the beloved film!”

“Hugely entertaining!”

“A visual and vocal feast!”

“A production that is ‘Positoovity’ phenomenal!”

“A delightful romp!”

“A spectacular singing, dancing treat for all ages.”

"A fantastic and unbelievable experience!"

“One of the must see musicals of the summer!”

“NSMT has outdone itself with a spectacular production!”

“More than well worth the trip!”

KIDS (18 and under) SAVE 50% on Friday, July 18 at 8pm and July 26 at 7:30pm!

Journey "under the sea" to a magical underwater kingdom, with the beautiful young mermaid Ariel who 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. Based on the 1989 Disney film and one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories, THE LITTLE MERMAID is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages.


  •  Music by Alan Menken
  •  Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
  •  Book by Doug Wright 
  •  Based on the Hans Christian Andersen Story and the Disney Film produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker and written & directed by John Musker and Ron Clements
  •  Direction by Michael Heitzman
  •  Choreography by AC Ciulla

Additional Information:

  •   Running Time with Intermission: 2 hr. 20 min.
  •   Content Advisory: Suitable for all audiences.
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