Disney Magic Comes to Huntsville Stages

If a trip to Disney World is not in your spring break plans, we’ve got the next best thing. Two Huntsville high schools are bringing Disney’s magic to our community with spectacular spring musicals: Beauty and the Beast at Grissom High School (opening March 24) and The Little Mermaid at Huntsville High School (opening April 7).

Sure, you know the stories and you’ve seen the movies. But these shows will bring them to life before your eyes with enchanted characters, dazzling costumes, and sensational sets and special effects. The casts of both shows—made up of actors, dancers, and singers—display such talent that, if you don’t fancy yourself at Disney World, you might wonder if you’ve ended up on Broadway instead.

Hear a Tale as Old as Time

In Grissom Fine Arts’ production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the beautiful Belle must tame the Beast to transform him back into a handsome prince. It’s a “tale as old as time” with a valuable message: “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a timeless story about how important empathy and kindness are to changing people’s lives,” says director Stephanie Braly-Beutjer. She credits not only the actors’ dedication but also parents, alumni, and community members for coming together to create this stunning show.

Beauty and the Beast


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This show is especially meaningful for Grissom because it marks the last show at this location on Bailey Cove Road. The musicals will continue next year in the high school’s new home, but Grissom Fine Arts wants to celebrate the 26-year history of this particular stage, which has seen productions from The Music Man to Pajama Game to Thoroughly Modern Millie. Alumni (cast and crew of all past musicals) are invited to an informal reception on Saturday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. before that evening’s show. Beauty and the Beast runs through the following weekend, when the lights will go down on the Grissom stage with the final matinee on April 2.

Grissom Fine Arts presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
  • Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25 at 7 pm
  • Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m.
  • Friday, March 31 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 2 at 2 p.m.

Ticket Cost: $18 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students
View Website or www.showtix4u.com (choose the Grissom High School performance)

Dive Under the Sea

Just a few days later on April 7, Disney’s The Little Mermaid opens at Huntsville High School Theatre. Audiences will delight in all the familiar elements of this show: Ariel and her mesmerizing voice, Sebastian and his antics, Ursula and her evil plot. But there are plenty of surprises in store, too: fish gliding across the stage on skates and hoverboards, eels and birds flying through the air, and more than 200 colorful costumes. Director Meghan Browning Phelps says around 150 students are involved both on-stage and behind the scenes, including students in HHS’s special-needs class, kids from area elementary schools, and members of the HHS band playing in the orchestra.


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Senior Taylor Agee, who plays the role of Ariel, understands why The Little Mermaid continues to be popular the world over: “It’s a classic tale about letting go of fears that keep you from following your own path, and fighting for your dreams while remembering the people you love and the place you came from.” Ms. Phelps hopes the HHS production makes that message clear: “We want to show the joy in love, dreams, and standing up (mermaid pun intended!) for what you are passionate about.”

Huntsville High School Theatre presents Disney’s The Little Mermaid
  • Friday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 8 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 9 at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 15 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket Cost: $18 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students
View Website or pick them up at Vintage Market & Paint Studio.

Don’t miss these two opportunities to experience Disney on your doorstep. Accept Grissom’s invitation to “be their guest” at Beauty and the Beast, and plan to join Huntsville High School “under the sea” at The Little Mermaid. Both shows will entertain all ages, so bring your kids or just your kid at heart.

Meet the Disney Characters!

If you have little ones who would love to meet Ariel, Belle, and all their friends, you’re in luck. Both productions are hosting meet-and-greet events with the characters. See below for details.


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Grissom Fine Arts’ Beauty and the Beast “Character Pancake Breakfast”
When: Saturday, March 18, 8–10 a.m.
Cost: $5 children, $10 adults
Where: Twickenham Church of Christ (7500 Whitesburg Drive)
Info: Join us! Have your picture taken with characters from the show! Bring your own cameras! Breakfast is served!

Huntsville High School’s The Little Mermaid “Character Breakfast”
When: Saturday, April 1, 8–10 a.m.
Cost: $5 children, $10 adults
Where: Huntsville High School Freshman Academy
Info: Join us for breakfast, crafts, and fun with the characters! Sing along with Ariel and her friends for an exciting morning under the sea! Make reservations at akbrooks30@yahoo.com or 256-509-7783.

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Lady Thumbnail.jpgABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lady Vowell Smith is a former English lit teacher who now enjoys writing about books of all kinds on her blog, The Snail on the Wall. She occasionally stops reading to work as a freelance editor and writer, serve as a community volunteer in Huntsville, and spend time with her husband and three kids.