Drew draws out his princely moves

Playing a prince ain’t easy!

Not that I’d know — my biggest theatrical role was portraying a munchkin — and that was a few years ago.

But Drew Seeley does know it. The singer and actor — whose work you’ll recognize from High School Musical (he co-wrote “Getcha Head in the Game,” among others, and sang Zac Efron’s part) — is playing Prince Eric in Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Broadway.

My friend and colleague Colleen Knopeck and I interviewed Drew this spring while he was on tour. We caught up with him a few minutes before his concert at Darien Lake Theme Park in upstate New York, and just several days before he began his limited engagement on Broadway, which runs through August 30.

During our first interview, which you can watch here, Drew told us that he was working hard to nail the choreography and even practicing standing tall like a prince. (Shoulders up! Back straight! Chest out!) Colleen and I checked back with Drew by phone earlier this month, after he’d been playing the prince four about four weeks.

“It’s going great,” he told us. “I’m still learning. We have a dance rehearsal right before the show tonight, just to freshen up and go over everything again. But I feel like I’m falling into it now, finally, and it’s a lot easier.”

Drew told us the job has been made easier by Chelsea Morgan Stock, who plays Ariel and “is a great dancer.” (Which I have to say is impressive, considering she wears fins for feet!) The most challenging number is “One Step Closer,” which he performs halfway through the second act. At this point in the story, Ariel still can’t speak, so Prince Eric teaches her to communicate through movement.

“It’s about teaching her how to speak through dance,” said Drew, who both sings and dances through the entire piece. “It takes the most stamina out of any song in the show for me, but it’s also a beautifully written song and something we also get to showcase our dancing skill in, so it’s my favorite.”

Check back tomorrow to find out how Drew deals with on-stage mishaps and Broadway audiences’ often unpredictable feedback.

You can visit Dance Spirit writer Tim O’Shei at his websites www.livestarringyou.com and www.timoshei.com.

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

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