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.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer