July 6, 2009

Disney to close ‘Mermaid’ in August

Producers of The Little Mermaid have announced the stage musical will close on Broadway next month and go on a national tour in the fall of 2010.

Thomas Schumacher, the producer and president of Disney Theatrical Productions, announced June 30 the show will remain at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in Manhattan through Aug. 30.

The stage version of the animated movie added several songs to the Alan Menken/Howard Ashman score, with music by Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater.

The musical will close after 685 performances and 50 previews. It has earned more than $78 million in ticket sales to date.

The show, one of just two new musicals from the 2007-08 season still running, has been seen by more than 921,000 people so far and will welcome its millionth guest this summer, the producers said in a release.

Director Francesca Zambello, our creators, designers and cast conjured a world unlike any Broadway has seen before, and audiences have been captivated by it at every explosive performance, Schumacher said. We are tremendously proud of the show and are confident we'll have an excellent summer but it would be fiscally irresponsible to our shareholders to risk operating losses with such a big show in the historically challenging fall months. We are closing the Broadway production to concentrate on the long future life of this title -- beginning with next year's national tour and upcoming international productions.