BY LORAINE ANDERSON
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — The Old Town Playhouse can expect a lot of proud parents, grandparents brothers and sisters this week.
The Little Mermaid, a one-act musical, opens on its main stage Wednesday for a five-day run that includes four evening performances and two weekend matinees this week.
The OTP Young Co. cast of 41 ranges from 7 to 18 years old. More than 79 children auditioned for the parts.
“They’re wonderful, talented kids and there’s a lot of energy on that stage,” said Minda Nyquist, director and choreographer.
The production is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story about a young mermaid named Ariel who lives in a magical underwater kingdom.
The musical is an adaptation from Disney’s 1989 animated version as well as its 2008 Broadway production. Ariel, the youngest daughter of Sea QueenTriton, witnesses a terrible storm and saves Young Prince Eric when he tumbles off his ship during a lightning storm. She falls in love with him and trades her voice to the evil Sea-Witch Ursula for a chance to be human. Other main characters include crab Sebastian, Flounder, Chef Louis and Grimsby.
Several roles are double-cast. Ariel is played by Grace Zucco and Madison Hertel. Olivia Policasgtro and Lucy Rogers perform in the role of Sebastian, the crab. Flounder is brought to life by Olivia Strom and Hannah Johnson, while Kaila Bissonnette and Brooke Pilong share the role of Ursula. Scuttle is played by Veyda D’Agro Ruopp and Peyton Diehl. Each of them work backstage during the shows they’re not performing.
“I usually stay away from doublecasting, but for this show because I felt we had too many talented kids audition to be uncast or not have a part,” Nyquist said.
Evening performances start Wednesday at 7 p.m. through Saturday at the former church-turned-community theater on the southwest corner of Cass and Eighth. Matinees start at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 947-2210. They also can be bought on line at http://www.oldtownplayhouse.com/tickets, or in person at the box office, which is open 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.