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Jessica Grové Will Star as Ariel in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” for NCT on July 29-Aug. 3 in Raleigh


Jessica Grové, who played Ariel in Theatre Under the Stars’ production of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” will reprise the role for the North Carolina Theatre (photo by Bruce Bennett for TUTS)

The North Carolina Theatre will present the Triangle premiere of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, starring 32-year-old Hilliard, OH-born Broadway actress and singer Jessica Grové as Ariel, on July 29-Aug. 3 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The Little Mermaid is the final homegrown Broadway musical production of the critically acclaimed regional theater’s 2013-14 season.

According to the North Carolina Theatre:

“Based on the Disney Classic movie, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and with music by Oscar®-winning Disney tunesmith Alan Menken, Disney’s The Little Mermaid was nominated for two 2008 Tony Awards®, including Best Original Score. The show tells the story of a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel who longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above.

“Cast in the role of Ariel is Jessica Grové, who has played the role at Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Kansas City Starlight, Sacramento Music Circus, and Theatre Under the Stars. Her Broadway credits include A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Les Misérables, in addition to a long list of regional and national tour appearances.”

Also according to NCT:

Alan Mingo Jr. (center) as Sebastian and company in "Under the Sea" (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Alan Mingo Jr. (center) as Sebastian and company in “Under the Sea” (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

“The production will also star Alan Mingo Jr. as Sebastian, a role he understudied on Broadway in 2008. In the role of Prince Eric is Ian Parmenter in his third production at NCT, having previously appeared as Combeferre in Les Misérables (2014) and Munkustrap in Cats (2013).

Ellen Harvey will play Ursula. Her Broadway credits include Madame Giry in Phantom of the Opera, Miss Jones in How to Succeed in Business opposite Daniel Radcliffe, and Cinderella’s Stepmother in Shakespeare in the Park’s Into the Woods. And Matt Allen will play Scuttle. His Broadway credits include The Wedding Singer, Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun.

“[The North Carolina Theatre] is also proud to announce [that] 18 students from their flagship training program, the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory in North Raleigh, [will appear] in the production, including Joseph Gaitens in the role of Flounder. He has previously appeared on our stage in Les Misérables and Oliver!

“The creative team includes artistic director Casey Hushion, producer Carolee Baxter, musical mirector/conductor Ed Goldschneider, choreographer Brian J. Marcum, and director Jennifer Werner.

“Jennifer Werner’s credits include associate director of The Book of Mormon on Broadway, and director and choreographer of Disney’s The Little Mermaid at TriArts Sharon Playhouse, and director of Monty Python’s Spamalot at TriArts Sharon Playhouse. Werner is also an accomplished choreographer and performer, and previously choreographed the NCT production of Phantom (2008).

Disney’s The Little Mermaid originally opened on Broadway January 10, 2008 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and ran for a total of 685 performances. The magnificent score includes all of the beloved songs from the movie, including ‘Part of Your World,’ ‘Under the Sea,’ and ‘Kiss the Girl,’ as well as new songs written specifically for the musical version.”

"Disney's The Little Mermaid" also stars Ellen Harvey as Ursula (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” also stars Ellen Harvey as Ursula (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

SECOND OPINION: July 29th New York, NY preview by Andrew Gans:; July 24th Raleigh, NC Raleigh preview by Stage Tube:; July 24th Raleigh, NC WNCN interview with actress Jessica Grové, conducted by Valonda Calloway for “My Carolina Today”:; and July 20th Raleigh, NC interview with director Jennifer Werner, conducted by “Go Ask Mom” editor Sarah Hall: and July 17th behind-the-scenes look:

The North Carolina Theatre presents DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID at 7:30 p.m. July 29-Aug. 1 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

TICKETS: $34.70-$110.15 (including fees).


NCT Box Office: 919-831-6941, ext. 6949.

Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or

GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-831-6941, ext. 5204;; or

SHOW: and

2014 SEASON:


BLOG (Stage Notes):




NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2nd, performance.


The Little Mermaid (1837 Danish fairy tale): (Jean Hersholt’s English translation from the Hans Christian Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark) and (Wikipedia).

Hans Christian Andersen (Danish author, 1805-75): (Hans Christian Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark) and (Wikipedia).

Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989 animated film): (official website), (Internet Movie Database), and (Wikipedia).

Ron Clements (director and screenwriter): (Wikipedia).

John Musker (director and screenwriter): (Wikipedia).

Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2008 Broadway musical): (Music Theatre International), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Wikipedia).

Alan Menken (music): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia).

Glenn Slater (lyrics): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia).

Howard Ashman (lyrics): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia).

Doug Wright (book): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia).

Jennifer Werner (director): (Internet Broadway Database).

Jessica Grové (actress): (official website), (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database) (Facebook page), and (Twitter page).



Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)

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