Steel River Playhouse To Stage "The Little Mermaid"

Steel River Playhouse, a nonprofit community theater located at 245 E. High St., Pottstown, will present Disney's "The Little Mermaid" on Fridays, June 2 and 9; Saturdays, June 3 and 10; and Sundays, June 4 and 11. Showtimes on Fridays will be at 8 p.m., and showtimes on Saturdays will be at 2 and 8 p.m. The Sunday matinees will be at 2 p.m.

"The Little Mermaid" tells the story of a rebellious 16-year-old mermaid named Ariel (Amanda Morrell), who is fascinated with life on land and wants to leave her ocean home behind. She is warned not to go to the surface by her controlling father, King Triton (Brian Rock), and his servant, Sebastian (Tyreese Kadle).

During one of her visits to the surface, she falls for a human prince named Eric (John DiFerdinando). In order to be with her new love, Ariel makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula (Alicia Huppman) to become human for three days. But everything does not go as planned, and Ariel must defeat Ursula and prove to her father that Eric is a worthy groom.

Popular musical numbers in the production, which will be accompanied by a live orchestra, will include "Part of Your World," "Kiss the Girl" and "Under the Sea."

"(The play) follows very closely to the Academy Award-winning 1989 Disney classic," stated Beth McDonnell, Steel River Playhouse director of sales and marketing. "There are some extra songs because it is a Broadway show. The plotline is the same. It's a really cute show."

In addition to the stage shows, a Barnacle Bash will be held before the show on June 3 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The mermaid-themed event will include crafts, snacks and a meet-and-greet with the cast. Attendees can also receive autographs and take pictures with Ariel and other favorite characters from "The Little Mermaid." Tickets to the Barnacle Bash event will be sold separately from the play. The event is open to children age 4 and older. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

For ticket information, readers may visit http://www.steelriver.org or call the box office at 610-970-1199.

"The Little Mermaid' is being directed by Dann Dunn, a Philadelphia and New York-based director and choreographer. "He works in downtown Philadelphia with his own professional theater troupe," McDonnell noted.

She said the cast is mostly composed of adults, while the younger actors in the ensemble are students from the Owen J. Roberts and Downingtown Area school districts, among others.

McDonnell noted that Steel River is the longest and oldest nonprofit performing arts center in the area. "(The theater) is part of a big revitalization project in Pottstown," she said. "We are definitely trying to help build that area up.

"The nice thing about Steel River is that it draws audiences from a variety of places, not just Pottstown," she added.

McDonnell noted that the theater will kick off its 2017-18 season in October with "The Nerd." The holiday show will be "A Christmas Carol." "We do plays and musicals, so it's nice to be part of a theater that offers both," McDonnell said, noting that theater subscriptions are available. "If (people) come in and see how amazing the space is, hopefully they will be engaged enough to keep coming back."

This summer, the theater will offer three camps in music and drama for youths. The two-week camps will start on Monday, July 10.

For more information about the theater, including details on upcoming shows and the summer theater camps, readers may visit http://www.steelriver.org or http://www.facebook.com/TriPACVillage or email info@steelriver.org or beth.mcdonnell@steelriver.org.

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