It looks like Ariel is finally going to be part of Disney's live production world. ABC's plans to produce a live concert version of The Little Mermaid have resurfaced, and this time, the network has a cast in place to anchor the project.
Auli'i Cravalho, who voiced the eponymous role in Disney's Moana, has been tapped to star as our (temporarily) finned friend, and actor-musicians Queen Latifah and Shaggy will also appear in the show as the villainous Queen Ursula and Ariel's crab sidekick, Sebastian, respectively.
ABC quietly shelved its original plans to deliver a live version of The Little Mermaid called The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! in late 2017, even though it had already invested in building the show's sets. In a statement at the time, an ABC rep said that the musical was merely being postponed so that the network could ensure the "unique" project would get "all the attention it deserves."
The new effort to make The Little Mermaid happen on stage will adopt a similar format to what was already planned, by drawing music from both the classic 1989 animated film and the popular Broadway stage version, whose lyricist, Glenn Slater, will contribute to ABC's live musical.
The project is the second major Little Mermaid production to be announced in recent months. Disney is also producing a live-action film musical of the same, starring Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina, with production kicking off next year.
The Little Mermaid live musical will air on ABC on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m.