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FIRST LOOK: Behind-the-scenes at NC Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID. Show Opens July 29th!

Posted July 17, 2014

NC Theatre's production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid opens July 29th and we've got your FIRST look as we go behind-the-scenes at rehearsals!

Now in its 30th year, North Carolina Theatre prides itself on producing Broadway revivals, overseeing every aspect of the production from casting to final curtain. The cast comes into town about 16 days before a show goes up and there are only two weeks of rehearsals until the show opens.

Tuesday was the second day of rehearsals. The cast is deep into mastering the choreography and songs. They use three rooms to rehearse: a main room for scene work, a dance studio and a vocal studio at the studio space in North Raleigh. Every minute of their rehearsal time is precious given the limited amount of time before the show opens.

The cast is made up of incredibly talented performers, many of whom have played the roles in other productions. “Ariel” will be played by Jessica Grové, who has played the role at Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO and many more. Additionally, in the role of “Sebastian,” will be Alan Mingo Jr. who played the role on Broadway. The cast also includes 15 current North Carolina Theatre Conservatory students, including Joseph Gaitens, an 8th grader at Carnage Middle School in Raleigh, in the role of “Flounder.”

In rehearsal, there were few noticeable differences between local talent and the Broadway professionals. The cast was eager to master the songs and dance numbers and showed an obvious passion for their work.

LM-Rehersal Dancing LM-Rehersal Girls Dancing
"Mersisters" Morgan Goodman, English Bernhardt, Kinsland Howell, Nikól Peterman, Savannah Sprinkle, Kelsey Walston and "Flounder" Joseph Gaitens rehearse a song led by Choreographer Brian J. Marcum.

In between rehearsing scenes and songs, the cast has costume calls and stops by hair and make-up. It's important for their costumes to fit properly and their wigs and make-up to be fitted and designed. Costumer Annie Bruskiewitz and hair, wig, and make-up designer Patti Del Sordo are amazingly talented and work hard to complete the character transformations.

LM-Hair and Makeup LM-Dressing Room
"Jetsam" Greg Reuter and "Flotsam" Matthew Marks stop by hair and make-up; Costumes hanging in the costume shop.

Rehearsals, as always, have been fast-paced. The cast and crew put every minute to good use and run through as many scenes, dances and songs as possible in the time they have. Even as early as day 2, the cast is cohesive and able to jump into character and have the appropriate chemistry with others in a scene or dance number. Based on the early rehearsals, the show is already shaping up to be a FINomenal hit!

Come see the final product of all of this hard work July 29 – August 3 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Memorial Auditorium.

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