Adopting the increasingly popular film-concert structure that’s been applied to films like “The Godfather,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and the “Harry Potter” franchise, the movie will screen in-sync with vocal performances and a live orchestra.
Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles will perform the voice of Ariel, the titular mermaid princess who’s fascinated by the above-water world and dreams of becoming a human.
“I’ve been pretending I was Ariel in swimming pools since I was a little girl, and now I get to pretend on a bigger stage. This is just fantastic,” said Bareilles in a statement.
Ursula the sea witch will be voiced by “Pitch Perfect” star Rebel Wilson, and John Stamos will provide the voice for Chef Louis, who famously attempts to cook Ariel’s crustacean friend Sebastian during a kitchen scene. Other live cast members include “Glee” actor Darren Criss as Prince Eric, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s” Tituss Burgess as Sebastian, Norm Lewis as King Triton and Joshua Colley as Flounder.
“The Little Mermaid’s” composer, eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, is set to open the Bowl screening and perform a series of songs he’s written for various Disney titles. The movie’s Oscar-winning score — which includes the beloved songs “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Part of Your World” — will be performed by a 12-person choir and a 71-piece orchestra led by conductor Michael Kosarin, who has worked with Menken for over two decades.
“It is a bit of an out of body experience when you know that people have grown up investing so much in something you wrote,” the composer, whose other animated credits include “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas” and “Tangled,” told Billboard. He also admitted that, though there are “no concrete plans” to tour the film-concert production, the idea has been discussed.
In addition to the screening, the event will also feature a costume contest and a fireworks display.
Tickets for the event will go on sale on Ticketmaster.com April 9 at 10 a.m.