Musical version of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" to premiere

Disney's "The Little Mermaid" will swim on stage next summer, receiving its world premiere in Denver.

Exact dates for the production, based on the 1989 animated film, were not released. The musical, though, will be directed by Francesca Zambello and will play the the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, which is part of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. No casting was announced.

The show will feature a new book by Doug Wright, author of the Tony Award-winning "I Am My Own Wife." The score will feature songs from the movie by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, who died in 1991, as well as new material by Menken and lyricist Glen Slater. The song, "Under the Sea," won an Academy Award for best original song, reports AP.

Zambello is best known as an opera director, having directed "An American Tragedy," "Cyrano" and "Les Troyens" for the Metropolitan Opera; "Don Giovanni" at London's Royal Opera House; and "Boris Godunov," "Billy Budd" and "William Tell" at the Paris Opera.

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