Amber Riley
Eugene Powers /

ABC’s ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!’ has enlisted ‘Glee’ alumnus Amber Riley as the emcee.  The special, intended to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the beloved Disney animated flick, will mix footage from the movie with live musical performances.  It is reported that Riley “will present the Daughters of Triton with a special performance for King Triton and his subjects.”

This marks Riley’s second splashy live musical, after she appeared as Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North in NBC’s ‘The Wiz Live!’.  She has performed as part of the Hollywood Bowl’s production of ‘Hair’, starred as Effie White in London’s West End production of ‘Dream Girls’, and as Audrey II in a run of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ in Pasadena.


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Of course, she is best known for playing Mercedes Jones on ‘Glee’, which was not only a hit show on FOX, but sold millions of songs via download and physical CDs, and even spawned a sold-out concert tour, which was then turned into a 3D movie.  Following that success, Riley won ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in 2013.

The cast of ‘The Little Mermaid Live!’ includes Auli’i Cravalho (‘Moana’) as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastian, Graham Phillips as Prince Eric and John Stamos as Chef Louis.  The special will also incorporate music from the Broadway adaptation, as Prince Eric doesn’t sing in the original cartoon, but does so in the stage production.

The music from the original ‘Little Mermaid’ won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for its score by Alan Menken, and for the song “Under the Sea,” with lyrics by Howard Ashman, sung by Sebastian the crab (voiced by Samuel E. Wright).  “Under the Sea” also won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television.

‘The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!’ airs on Tuesday, November 5 on ABC.


Source: TV Line