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Musical features many local kids

‘Little Mermaid Jr.’ runs through Sunday

POSTED: May 1, 2013 5:15 p.m.
For the FCN/

Hannah Garmon, right, of Forsyth County stars as Ariel in Christian Youth Theater Atlanta’s “Little Mermaid Jr.”

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Christian Youth Theater Atlanta is going under the sea for its upcoming production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

With more than 90 children ages 8 to 18 in the cast from Forsyth and northern Fulton counties, artistic director Pat Valeroy said it’s “the biggest cast we’ve ever had.”

When Hannah Garmon went in to audition, the Forsyth resident was just hoping for a call-back. But the 17-year-old landed the lead role of Ariel, which was “a complete surprise … I was speechless.”

Garmon set to work learning her lines, songs and trying to identify with her character.

“I wanted to make sure it’s as real as possible to me so I can have everybody else connect to Ariel in a way they haven’t before,” she said. “To draw them in more, finding that little extra something that makes people think, ‘I hadn’t noticed that.’”

The show is a little different from the 1989 Disney movie, with Prince Eric getting to sing and Ariel’s friend Flounder having more of a role.

“You just get to know everybody more, in general, than you did in the movie,” Garmon said. “It still has the same feel, but you have a little bit more insight into how they live, how they treat each other and their dreams.”

The production is one of two the theater company presents annually. Valeroy said most shows have a cast of 65 children, all students at Christian Youth Theater Atlanta, which is its ninth year serving the Forsyth and north Fulton area.

Classes are held at Johns Creek Baptist Church, with weekend rehearsals at the Performer’s Warehouse in south Forsyth.

Valeroy said she had wanted to present “The Little Mermaid Jr.” for several years.

“When a show like that comes out, you want to grab it as soon as you can ... it’s just kind of magical,” she said. “Most of the kids that are in the show have been in multiple shows before. They come in ready to work and they’re really hard workers and very talented kids.”

 

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