It's been more than 25 years since the complete score for The Little Mermaid was last performed live — in the studio where it was first recorded, prior to the classic Disney film's 1989 release. While the animated tale has since been adapted for Broadway, and its hit songs have been performed on countless stages and YouTube accounts all over the world, no one has ever put on a live version of the full soundtrack as it appears in the original movie.
But if you're one of The Little Mermaid's many ardent fans (and you live in or near Los Angeles), you're in luck: According to Billboard, an all-star concert version of The Little Mermaid is set to take the Hollywood Bowl under the sea this summer.
Silver-tongued singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles will play Ariel, the titular mermaid. She heads a stellar cast that includes Rebel Wilson as beloved villain Ursula and Glee heartthrob Darren Criss as Ariel's soul mate, Prince Eric.
John Stamos, fresh off starring in Netflix's elaborate April Fools' Day prank, will terrorize les poissons as Chef Louis. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Tituss Burgess, who originated the role of Ariel's sarcastic crab buddy Sebastian on Broadway, will reprise the part. Here he is singing "Under the Sea" in the original Broadway production:
The performance will be backed by a full 71-piece orchestra and a 12-piece choir.
The iconic Little Mermaid score is the musical brainchild of legendary Broadway duo Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, who wrote the music and lyrics for Little Shop of Horrors and went on to collaborate on Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin before Ashman famously died of AIDS.
Menken noted to Billboard that the Hollywood Bowl performance will be his first opportunity to hear the entire score performed live since it was recorded. The composer will also be opening the show with a medley of some of his other famous songs. Here he is performing one such medley, albeit without a 70-piece orchestra to back him up:
Each member of the main cast is a star outside of Broadway, but Burgess isn't the only one with deep musical theater ties. Bareilles is about to make her Broadway debut as the composer of the highly anticipated musical Waitress, which opens in New York later this month. Before Criss wooed Glee fans as Blaine, he was most famous for starring as Harry Potter in the viral fan production of A Very Potter Musical and its sequels. And Full(er) House star Stamos may be known for Uncle Jesse's rock band and Beach Boys covers, but he's had a long and successful musical theater career, including this stint at the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade performing the lead in Bye Bye Birdie:
As for Wilson, while the Pitch Perfect star may not have as much stage experience as the rest of the cast, she clearly has the brass to play the part of the bold, uncompromising sea witch. Plus, everyone knows Ursula is less about singing and more about … body language.
Tickets for the show go on sale April 9 through Ticketmaster.