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The Little Mermaid expected to wow the crowds with special effects

Alana Horne portrays Ariel and Jared Ivey is Prince Eric in the Perry Players Theatre production of “The Little Mermaid.”
Alana Horne portrays Ariel and Jared Ivey is Prince Eric in the Perry Players Theatre production of “The Little Mermaid.”

Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder and Ursula will come to life on the Perry Players stage in “The Little Mermaid” starting Thursday.

The play is based on the 1989 Disney film and ran on Broadway in the early 2000s. This is the first time a main stage production has been produced in the Middle Georgia area, according to Hunter Hufnagel, the show’s director.

The play, which has 40 cast members, was not an easy one to cast, Hufnagel said. More than 100 people auditioned for the parts.

“It was a long night trying to cast the show because we had so much talent,” he said. “People who have the roles are incredible. And the biggest thing to me is that when people see Disney classics … they want to see what is close to the movie. These guys are ‘right on the money’ as far as depicting their characters in the way they look, sound and portray the characters.”

The play, which is a full length, two-act musical, has the same story, characters and songs as the movie, Hufnagel said. The storyline is about Ariel (Alana Horne), the youngest mermaid out of a large group of sisters, who falls in love with a human, Prince Eric (Jared Ivey). Throughout the play, she is trying to find her place in the world as well as overcome some obstacles, such as her encounter with Ursula (Linda Manfrida), a sea witch, and trying to get her father, KingTriton (Jason Niederkorn), to understand her.

Popular songs such as “Part of your World,” “Under the Sea” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” are big dance numbers, and will include a lot of special effects, Hufnagel said.

“The special effects are insane in this show,” he said. “The costumes, sets and special effects are what really make this show. We had to have tryouts in March because we wanted to go ahead and get everyone measured so our costumers could get started early. We have about eight costumers, and they are making some absolutely crazy stuff for everyone.”

In order to help create some amazing scenes on the stage, Hufnagel said there is a large team of people working on the special effects for the show. In addition, 30 new lights have been specifically brought in to help create the special effects.

“The special effects are my favorite part,” he said. “I think everyone else will be blown away when they see how we simulate the underwater scenes with the lights. My favorite character is Ursula…her costume is going to be huge. People are going to be blown away by that as well as all the costumes and the special effects with Ursula. People are going to be blown away.”

“The Little Mermaid”

When: 7:30 p.m. July 20-22 and Aug. 3-5; 1:30 p.m. July 23 and 30

Where: Perry Players, 909 Main St, Perry

Cost: $20; $18 for military

Information: (478) 987-5354, www.perryplayers.org

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