Adrienne Eller had a most interesting journey to the lead role in the New England premiere of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” that opened this week at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly.
Eller was initially cast in the ensemble but NSMT Producer Bill Hanney hadn’t found the right person to play ‘Ariel’ so Associate Producer Beth Vasta suggested they take a look at Adrienne.
They were so impressed by Eller’s talent that she got the lead. It’s a classic theater success story.
Eller certainly has the credentials and the academic background to go along with her dramatic skills. She is entering her senior year at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts, home to one of the most famous drama programs in the country. She will receive a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Drama next May.
Eller spoke to the Lynn Journal about her leap from ensemble to lead in a pre-Opening Night interview. “I was originally cast in the ensemble. I went to an open call which is where basically anyone can go and show up and sing a few notes and dance a little bit. There were a bunch of callbacks and I got cast in the ensemble.
“And then they called me in for Ariel because they asked if I knew the song, “Part of Your World,” in my audition and I knew it by heart. I was thrilled when they told me I had the lead.”
Eller is making her first appearance at theater-in-the-round NSMT and in the Boston area. It’s been a smooth transition to the North Shore.
“The cast is wonderful and has really good energy,” said Eller. Everyone is really nice. The artistic staff is really nice. Everyone is really excited about the show so it’s been really fun to do.”
Eller grew up in California and has enjoyed “The Little Mermaid” and Ariel since childhood. “Ariel was one of my favorites for sure. I have pictures standing next to her at Disneyland.”
How has she been able to inject herself into the magical, beautiful young mermaid character of Ariel?
“A lot of it has to do with physicality and creating the under-the-sea movements. There are a lot of special effects in the show. The costumes are really pretty and the show is flowing together really nicely.”
Eller said she’s very happy she traveled across the country to attend NYU, a decision that set the foundation to the biggest role yet in her burgeoning career as a performer.
“I love the school. It’s a really great school for what I’m doing. I have really awesome professors and I love being in New York City and being so close to the theater capital of the world.”
For the next three weeks through July 27, Eller will be lighting up the stage in the underwater music adventure and New England premier of “The Little Mermaid.”
Based on her enthusiasm and instant affinity to NSMT, it sounds like Adrienne Eller wouldn’t want to be spending her NYU summer break anyone else but on stage performing for the capacity audiences each night in Beverly.