The Little Mermaid is back in the news again!
ABC has announced that a live concert version of The Little Mermaid will air on ABC November 5 at 8 p.m. ET. The concert will be part of ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Auli’i Cravalho (the voice of Moana) will play Ariel, and Queen Latifah will take on the role of Ursula. This also marks Latifah’s second live production role, with her first being as the Wizard of Oz in NBC’s live production of The Wiz. Shaggy will also star as Sebastian, Ariel’s crab guardian.
It is worth noting that The Wonderful World of Disney, which so famously brought us Brandy and Whitney Houston in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Audra McDonald in Annie, is back form its years-long hiatus.
Also, we now have not just one, but two non-white Ariels. As reported recently, Halle Bailey broke the internet when she was announced as the lead in Disney’s live-action film reboot of The Little Mermaid. So now that we have more than one non-white Ariel, as Cravalho is half-Hawaiian and also has Puerto Rican, Portuguese, Chinese and Irish ancestry.
Third, we have an Ursula that a lot of fans would probably be happy with, seeing how there was an internet movement to tap Lizzo as Ursula in the live-action adaptation.
Fourth, the live concert is probably going to be in a better position than it was in 2017, when it was originally slated to debut. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s sources, budgetary concerns were the main reasons the concert was put on the back burner.
The live concert will be keeping with the same concept it had in 2017, combining songs from both the animated film and the Broadway production. The Broadway show’s lyricist, Glenn Slater, will also work on the project. Richard Kraft, the director and producer behind Disney’s The Little Mermaid: In Concert, will executive produce.
Photo: Getty Images/Disney