Posted On 15 Mar 2018
NEW INTERACTIVE LIVE STAGE SHOW OF DISNEY’S “THE LITTLE MERMAID” PRODUCED BY SOUND STAGE LIVE! TO RUN FROM MARCH 15-18!
This is the first ever immersive musical theater experience to be held at the El Segundo Performing Arts Center. The show combines live actors, animations and guests mobile devices.
This production of “The Little Mermaid” stars Chassey Bennett and is directed by Karl Warden. The four-day run will be hosted by YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, and those who purchase VIP tickets will have the chance to meet Todrick, attend a special Q&A, and have front row seats.
Unlike traditional theater, this new format encourages patrons to pull their cell phones out, rather than put them away. There will be a red carpet, themed snacks and games in the lobby, before the interactive show begins. Sound Stage LIVE! is a social experience in which participants can share with friends.
Brother and sister producing team Jeff and Beth Cason bring 20+ years of experience to unveil this unique event to life. Jeff Cason, CEO and Creative Producer remarks, “We’re bringing cutting edge technology and storytelling together to put our guests in the middle of the action. Your phone will let you see and hear the fish under the sea, join the musical chorus that get Ariel and Eric to fall in love, and even help Ariel defeat Ursula with the power of the trident.”
Adds Beth Cason, COO and Co-Producer for SOUND STAGE LIVE!: “We are reinventing musical theater for a generation who loves to interact with their entertainment, not just consume it. It will be an unforgettable experience the audience will want to share with friends and family.”
The pre-show will include host Todrick Hall’s fan favorite videos of his performances; as well as a lip sync battle in which guests can join Todrick onstage, showcasing their own talents. The El Segundo Performing Arts Center is located at 640 Main Street, El Segundo, California 90245 (near LAX). General admission tickets are $29; Upgraded seats are $79; and VIP seats are $129. To purchase seats visit: www.soundstage.live/tickets
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Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.”
Chassey Bennett makes her debut as her childhood favorite princess, with recent credits as: “Joseph & The Technicolor Dreamcoat” (3-D Theatricals); “Footloose” (The Candlelight Pavilion); “Sister Act” (Musical Theatre West); “Rent” (La Mirada Theatre/McCoy Rigby Entertainment). Past credits include: “Les Miserables” and “Side Show.” Chassey received her BFA from AMDA.
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you today? Has it been a good day?
I had a pretty exciting day, actually! I was given the opportunity to promote Sound Stage LIVE and our production of “The Little Mermaid” on ABC channel 7 news in a taped interview as well as an over the phone interview with LAExcites.com!
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? What is one big goal you have for 2018?
2017 was a really special year for me and my career. I was cast as Ariel in a production of “The Little Mermaid” at The Moonlight Amphitheater. Ariel was a dream role for me and I was honored to have the opportunity to tell her story. That is when I met and worked with Karl Warden for the first time; our director and choreographer for this production. He choreographed Moonlight’s production and I couldn’t have been more lucky. After we closed “The Little Mermaid”, Karl cast me as Wednesday in a production of “The Addams Family” he choreographed. Once Karl found out about working with Sound Stage LIVE on another production of “The Little Mermaid”, he immediately contacted me and I am forever grateful. As far as this year goes, I’m excited to see what other opportunities my experience with Sound Stage LIVE will lead to! A career goal I have for 2018 is to continue building my resume as well as expanding my network. Thanks to Karl and Sound Stage LIVE, I’m already on my way!
Growing up, did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would have? Has music always been a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
Yes, absolutely. I have been performing in musicals since I was 5 years old. It has always been my dream to perform for a living and I truly can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Music has always been a huge part of my life. Other than performing in musicals, I started singing professionally around the age of 7. My first musical experience was with my Kindergarten class at school. We did a production called “Stone Soup” and I was hooked. From there, I went on to do about 80 productions throughout my childhood at a community theater in Orange County.
So how did you get to be a part of this new interactive live stage show of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’? Has this been something that you have wanted to get involved with for awhile?
I owe this entire experience to Karl Warden! He has honestly changed my career with all of the opportunities he’s given me over the last year. Once I heard about Sound Stage LIVE’s concept, I was immediately intrigued. I still am! I’m very excited to see how it all works and how people respond to it. I think it could change how people see musical theater as well as bridge the gap between musical theater and the younger generation.
What can audience members expect from these performances? And your role in it in particular?
The audience members should expect to see something magical. To have a 360 immersive experience in a show like “The Little Mermaid”, where a lot of it takes place underwater, it’s going to be pretty incredible.
Are you a big fan of The Little Mermaid? Have you learned anything about this story that you didn’t know before? What other Disney movies do you love?
“The Little Mermaid” came out the year I was born so I’ve been watching it my entire life. Growing up, it was one of my favorite films and I would sing “Part of your a World” in costume all the time. When I played the role last year, I learned that when singing the song “Part of your World” Ariel doesn’t sing the lyrics “part of your world” — she only sings “part of that world”. She doesn’t get to sing “part of your world” until the reprise of the song after she’s rescued Prince Eric. Other Disney classics I love are Pocahontas and Beauty and the Beast.
How active on are you on all of your social media platforms? How important do you think it has been to your career so far? Do you find that it’s hard to update all of them all of the time?
I’m the most active on Instagram — I feel like other things are dying out. I have Facebook as well, but I’m not as active. I don’t think social media has helped my career YET. I do think it could help if the right person comes across my profile! (@ChasseyBennet)
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Musicians who have always and continue to inspire me are Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and Shoshana Bean. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever got to share the stage with any of those women!
Once this run of ‘The Little Mermaid’ is over, what is next for you?
Right now, I’m still auditioning for some summer projects so things are up in the air! However, I perform in “Frozen: Live! At the Hyperion” in Disneyland’s California Adventure and I also tour with “The Imagination Machine” to elementary schools throughout SoCal.