The Ziegfeld Theater brings audience members “Under The Sea” for the Northern Utah premier of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”
“We work really hard to make sure that we are ahead of the game and to do shows that people want to see,” said Kelly Wideman, an associate producer for the theater and stage manager for the production.
The Ziegfeld Theater is the first company in Northern Utah to perform “The Little Mermaid,” the third company in Utah overall.
The musical version of the 1989 Disney animated feature, officially debuted on Broadway in 2008. Both the animated feature and the musical are based on the Hans Christian Anderson story about a young mermaid who dreams of life on the land.
The musical features songs with music written by the award-winning composer Alan Menken, who has written for other Disney films such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and more recently “Tangled,” as well as lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.
The Ziegfeld Theater was originally a movie theater back in the 1940s. Four years ago, it was renovated and reopened.
“We went from this old movie theater people came to in the 40s,” said Wideman, “Then we flipped it, and now it’s a thriving theater again.”
And actors appreciate the atmosphere of the theater, as well.
“It’s always fun here,” said Alina Gatrell, who plays the role of Ursula in “The Little Mermaid.” “It’s been a really fun show and a really fun cast.”
Gatrell has been doing shows at the Ziegfeld Theater for three years. She said there was a good ratio of newcomers to veterans for this production.
“Everybody who is in the show loves “The Little Mermaid,” loves Disney and loves the experience of the show, and you can tell on the stage,” Wideman said.
Eliza Haynie, who plays Scuttle and has done three shows at the Ziegfeld Theater, has enjoyed working with the cast for this show.
“I’ve never been in a cast that is so loving and supportive. There is no negative energy. Everybody is just positive and supportive,” Haynie said.
When casting for a show, the Ziegfeld producers look to the local talent to help gain a spirit of the community in their productions.
“It’s a really fun theater. We strive for a professional level theater with a community spirit,” Wideman said.
“The Little Mermaid” opens Friday, March 18 and runs through April 23. The shows are Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, beginning at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee that starts at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.