ABC is getting in the live musical game with a production of their hit musical, The Little Mermaid. And of course, live musicals always come with an all-star cast. And ABC is using their connections under the great Disney umbrella to get royalty on board.
Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of Moana from the movie of the same name, will play Ariel. Queen Latifah will play the villain, Ursula, and musician Shaggy will play Ariel’s sidekick Sebastian. Cravalho is the second woman of color cast in the role, with singer Halle Bailey taking on the part for the live-action movie.
The musical will be a mix of music from the Broadway version of the show and music from the original movie. For ABC’s first live musical they are going with a “never-before-seen hybrid format” melding in some animation into the live actions and “feature beautifully intricate sets and costumes, with music from the original.” The project was first announced back in 2017, but ended up being shelved for unspecified reasons.
There will be more casting news soon, and surprisingly there’s little backlash over Cravalho’s casting. Perhaps people are more willing to accept someone who is already a Disney princess from an ocean-themed movie. Or no one cares about live musicals all that much.
Little Mermaid Live is currently set to premiere on ABC on November 5, 2019.