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‘Mermaid’ is Wright on course for B’way

Scribe offers Disney 'Little' help

From Pulitzer Prize to the Disney imprimatur, playwright Doug Wright is swimming in the fast lane with his new book for the long-gestating stage version of “The Little Mermaid.”

After last week’s internal reading, Disney Theatricals has approved the script and is now moving forward to a full production.

Wright won the Pulitzer Prize in drama last year for his bioplay “I Am My Own Wife,” based on the life of German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf.

For the stage version of “Little Mermaid,” Alan Menken has expanded on his 1989 film score and added several new tunes. Francesca Zambello is aboard to helm. Director Matthew Bourne and book writer David Ives had previously been attached to the project.

Although not officially announced, “The Little Mermaid” is expected to be ready for Broadway in about two years. By then, Disney should have two other new tuners playing Gotham. “Tarzan” also had an internal reading at Disney Theatricals last week, and it looks ready to open in spring 2006. “Mary Poppins,” now playing on the West End, should make it to Broadway the following season.

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