Gavilan stage goes ‘Under the Sea’

From left, Niko Veltri, playing the role of Scuttle, Jenna Schmidt, playing the role of Ariel, and Emma Dorsey, playing the role of Founder, perform during dress rehearsals for Disney's The Little Mermaid by Limelight Productions as part of their winter c

Hollister’s Limelight Productions will open its winter children’s show, “The Little Mermaid,” Friday at the Gavilan College Theater in Gilroy.

The show features kids from ages 8 to 18, with adults in a few key roles such as King Triton and Ursula.

Director Sally Hail and a founder of Limelight Productions said the time has flown by since rehearsals started in September.

“We added a little extra time in for Thanksgiving so we wouldn’t be stressed, but it didn’t really work,” she said.

She said the show has about 25 kids who will take on the roles of Ariel, Eric, Sebastian and the other characters from the well-known Disney musical. The group rented some of the costumes from a theater group in Fresno, saving some time in making custom outfits for the cast.

Limelight does one big performance a year in the winter, with a summer theater camp at Southside School near Hollister and classes offered at West Coast Dance FX throughout the year.

“We are what you call a gypsy theater company,” Hail said. “We don’t have a dedicated theater, but hopefully that will change.”

Hail said all the kids wanted to be Ariel.

“Everyone is super familiar with it and they knew what it was when they came into it,” she said. “It is just a great show. It looks good.”

She said the kids especially like the music from the show, including the familiar tunes of “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.”

“The kids really dig the music,” Hail said. “We did a lot of work on characterization. They had to sit down and read through the script. I’m hoping they got a lot out of it educationally.”

This is the first Limelight production that included adults in the cast, and Hail got the role of Urusula, the ocean villain.

“I bought in a separate casting crew and didn’t have any say in it,” she said, of who got the role. “It’s just a special show. Certainly, Ursula for me – I have coveted this part since it hit Broadway, so it’s a lot of fun.”

The show will run for four performances: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., at the Gavilan College Theater, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd., in Gilroy. Tickets are $12 for general admission or $40 for a four pack. Details: or 831-245-8108.

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