BBC’s latest musical is The Little Mermaid Live (or, to use its full title, The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! ), which is airing on the network on Tuesday, November 5 from 8 p.m. ET.
Ariel, Ursula and the rest of the cast of characters will be played by a host of celebrities, including an Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner, two Grammy winners and an Emmy nominee, in addition to the voice of a beloved Disney character.
Fans expecting a similar experience to precede live ABC musicals may be surprised by the format of The Little Mermaid Live. As Ursula actress Queen Latifah told Good Morning America: “They’re going to literally show the movie in front of a live audience of at least 500 people. And then when it comes to musical performances, it’s going to cut to the live performance of those songs and then it’ll go back into the movie and the audience will take part in it and be participants in the actual performance of it. . .They’ll be under the sea with us.”
The cast of “The Little Mermaid Live. “ABC
Who stars in The Little Mermaid Live?
Auli’i Cravalho – Ariel
Playing mermaid-turned-woman Ariel is 18-year-old Hawaiian celebrity Auliʻi Cravalho, best known as the voice of Moana. The Little Mermaid Live will be among her first onscreen acting roles after appearing in NBC’s Rise and YouTube Premium’s Weird City.
Speaking to Variety, she said of the role:”I was so happy to play one Disney princess who happened to be associated with the water, but now I get to play another one. . .it’s truly mind-blowing to me.”
Queen Latifah recording tracks for “The Little Mermaid Live. “ABC
Queen Latifah – Ursula
Playing with the character voiced by Pat Carroll in the 1989 film that is original, Oscar nominee and Grammy/Golden Globe winner Queen Latifah will take on the role of the evil Ursula, the sea witch who gives Ariel legs in return for her voice.
Shaggy – Sebastian
Though Shaggy is famous across the world for singing reggae classics like”It Wasn’t Me”,”Boombastic” and”Angel”, The Little Mermaid Live is his first acting role since 2004 when he appeared in thriller Blast.
In a promo video, the Grammy-winning performer said of expressing Ariel’s crab companion Sebastian:”I did’Under the Sea’ and obviously’Kiss the Girl’ and doing those songs was really something unique and something new to me. . .when I listened back, it was one of those wow moments.”
John Stamos at the studio of”The Little Mermaid Live. “ABC
John Stamos – Chef Louis
One time Full House star John Stamos has past experience with The Little Mermaid and Chef Louis, after he played the character’s song”Les Poissons” at the Hollywood Bowl in 2006. He told Access:”What excites me is that they’re sort of letting me play with the character a little bit. I mean, the essence of him will be what people love, but you know, if you really look at this guy, he’s crazy! So just to be able to let all that out into this character is going to be really fun.”
Graham Phillips – Prince Eric
Playing Ariel’s human love interest will be Graham Phillips, best known for playing with Zach Florrick, the son of lead character Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) in The Good Wife. The actor has also recently appeared in Riverdale and Netflix’s Atypical.
Even though the character does not sing in The Little Mermaid, the live version has included some numbers for Phillips to sing. Talking to Playbill, he explained of these:”In the film he’s such a blank slate; he doesn’t even sing. Getting to learn these new songs and understand his perspective a little more was very cool.”
Compering The Little Mermaid Live, meanwhile, will be Amber Riley, the former star of Glee and Dancing with the Stars winner who has since found acclaim and awards in the London West End production of Dreamgirls.
The Little Mermaid Live airs Tuesday, November 5 at 8 pm on ABC