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“The Little Mermaid” Comes to the Naperville Stage

The cast of “The Little Mermaid” tried on their costumes for the first time during one of their many December rehearsals, and waves of excitement broke into dancing, twirling and laughing as the show took one step closer to opening night, which is Friday, January 12, 2018.

Suzanne Reeves twirled in her jellyfish costume

Director Kris Visher (right) talks with the maids

Behind the scenes with Ariel and Prince Eric

Isabella Newhuis and Brett Baleskie are Ariel and Prince Eric

I always loved Disney, and Ariel was my dream role,” said Isabella Newhuis, who is a senior at Benet Academy.  “I remember attending a Naperville Park District musical comedy theater summer camp and we did The Little Mermaid Jr.  I played a Flounder. I fell in love with the music.  The whole cast painted the background; it was so much fun.”


King Triton and Ariel

Isabella was first cast in a Magical Starlight Theatre production—“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” — when she was in fourth grade. Since then, she has played lead roles such as Hodel in “Fiddler on the Roof” in community theater and Mini in “Hello Dolly” at Benet Academy.  She also is a national champion figure skater and hopes to engage her skating friends to help her memorize her lines. downtime at practices.


Ariel and her sisters

Brett Baleskie started acting with Magical Starlight Theatre in “Snow White” in 2004, when he was a sophomore at Naperville North High School. “He went off to college and then came back,” said Director Kris Visher. “We’re just like a big family, and so glad to have our college graduates return.”


Ariel, King Triton and Prince Eric

This year, for the first time, Brett is choreographing the show as well as playing a lead role. “Finding time to do everything is a challenge,” he said. “The choreography tells the story visually.  And I also needed to get to know the prince.”  He is looking forward to having some downtime during the holidays to focus on his script.

Family ties

Magical Starlight Theatre welcomes multiple family members to participate in its shows, and “The Little Mermaid” is no exception.

North Central College senior and musical theater major Josh Dennison is excited about this year’s performance because it’s his younger brother, Ethan’s first time in a Magical Starlight Theatre show. “I play a manta ray and he’s chief merman and a sailor. We are having a blast.”

Ethan and Josh Dennison

Josh completed his first two years of college at College of DuPage (COD). “When I started at COD I hadn’t done a community theater show. My dad recommended that I audition for Magical Starlight Theatre’s ‘Peter Pan.’  I got to be a pirate and have been in Magical Starlight Theatre shows ever since. It really does feel like a big family. I made so many new friends—and have been back ever since.”

“The Little Mermaid” Performance Schedule

Opening night is Friday, January 12, 2018 at Naperville Central High School Auditorium, located at 440 W. Aurora Ave.  Click here for a full schedule of performance dates and times.

Tickets are on sale for $12 online, by phone and at any Park District facility until 4:00 p.m. on the Friday of the weekend performances. After that time, you may purchase tickets at the door for $15.

We hope to see you there!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

The full cast rehearses the finale on Dec. 12, 2017


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