‘Little Mermaid’ opens today at Barrow

Terri Gilmore portrays Ursala and Kat Elan plays Ariel in the Franklin Civic Operetta Association's production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid."

The Franklin Civic Operetta Association’s production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is sure to be “Part of Your World” and part of the area’s Applefest experience.

The association’s annual Applefest musical at the Barrow-Civic Theatre in Franklin features a sea of talent with cast members hailing from various communities in the region including Titusville, Emlenton, Meadville, Greenville, Grove City, Oil City, Seneca and Franklin.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. today and continues at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with a special matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday. The show will also be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 6-8.

The beautiful mermaid Ariel (played by Kat Elan) should be a happy girl – she lives in an enchanted undersea country, her father is a King Triton (Alan Anderson), and she has the most beautiful singing voice. But she is a passionate, headstrong teenager, and wants what she cannot have – to live on land. When she falls in love with a handsome human Prince Eric (Mark Hartley), Ariel is more determined than ever to gain a pair of legs.

But her only option is to defy her furious father, and bargain for the help of Ursula the Sea Witch (Terri Gilmore) and her eely minions, Flotsam (Hannah McCarthy) and Jetsam (Jill Kellner).

With the help of Flounder the fish (Kolby Martin), Scuttle the seagull (Ben Bodamer), and officious court composer Sebastian the crab (Nicholas Hess), Ariel must wordlessly gain the love of Prince Eric within three days – or lose her soul to the ambitious witch!

Based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and the wildly popular Disney film, this musical staging of “The Little Mermaid” features a funny and fanciful book by Doug Wright with the beloved score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Glenn Slater in an expanded, but completely faithful form. It features the rambunctious and persuasive “Under the Sea,” the romantic expectation of “Kiss the Girl,” and that anthem to longing and belonging, “Part of Your World.”

Other characters and ensemble members we meet along the way “Under the Sea” are Ariel’s mersisters (Brooke Lawrie, Casey McVay, Emily Minch, Rachele Heasley, Caroline Lowrey and Emily Powell); Leeward (John Hetrick) and Windward (Ben Hoover). The characters we meet above the sea are Grimsby (David Guth), Pilot (Tyler Carson), additional sailors (Brent Hetrick and Bryce Preston) and the other seagulls (Heather Hondel and Madison Kish). This group doubles in many other fun parts throughout the show such as mercreatures, chefs, maids, princesses and even dancing seaweed.

The show is under the stage direction of Peter Greene, music direction by Jodi Hoover, choreography is directed by Kelly Zerbe and accompanist Katie Greig.

The show comes complete with special flying effects designed by Vertigo Flying Effects from Chicago.

The crew is headed by David Kellner, stage manager, and assisted by Tracy Brown, Aaron Ritsig, Andrew Ritsig, Britton Backer, Patrick Lowrey, Tish McClintock, Danielle Laverdure and Nicole Laverdure.

The live orchestra is directed by MaryBeth Hutchinson and includes Denny Butler, Christy Fackler, Jerry Ziegler, Jennifer Taylor, Ellen Clarahan, Wendell Holmes, Justin Vorp and Brandan Kennelty.

The show is produced by Martha Heise and Stephen Teig with the help of Casey McVay, Tammy Dulaney and Roxanne Gonzales.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 437-3440 or online at http://www.barrowtheatre.com.