Arts & Entertainment

Matt Allen of South Orange Stars in “The Little Mermaid” as Scuttle

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Matt Allen as Scuttle in Disney's The Little Mermaid at Paper Mill Playhouse Credits: Billy Bustamante
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MILLBURN, NJ - Disney’s The Little Mermaid is now showing at the Paper Mill Playhouse.  With a star studded cast, elaborate sets, dazzling  costuming, fantastic staging, and favorite songs, the show promises to be a hit for all ages.  Paper Mill’s production of The Little Mermaid is a very different show than was seen on Broadway with completely reconceived sets and special effects.

Cast member, Matt Allen is a local resident who lives in South Orange. He plays Scuttle, the seagull who befriends Ariel.  Allen has had an impressive theatrical career and has performed in Broadway productions including The Wedding Singer, Oklahoma, and Annie Get Your Gun. Also, Allen says that he has participated in many different kinds of theater over the years.  He believes his experience has helped him to get ready for the role.

“From Branson, Missouri to Broadway, to National Tours, I have been able to dance, tap, fine tune character voices,” he said, adding that he is very excited to play the role of Scuttle.

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Recently, Allen played Jacob Marley the Regional North Shore Production of A Christmas Carol.  While the role may seem very different he says there is one similarity.

“Jacob Marley did a lot of flying in that production, and so there is definitely a connection there,” he said.  One of the biggest challenges of the role has been the flying scenes.  “One must make it look easy while remaining perfectly balanced in the air, staying in character and saying lines,” Allen said.  “I am totally up for it.”

Allen likes that the role of Scuttle is Ariel’s true connection to everything that she is curious about on land. He gives her information, even though some of it is wrong.  As Allen said, “In the end, he helps her as best he can to achieve her goals and help her dreams come true.”

Allen believes that The Little Mermaid is a great show for Paper Mill because it is fun for the entire family and there are even jokes for parents. He also said that the cast is “top notch, full of Broadway people putting their talents together and working as hard as they can to make this show click, while still making it look easy.”

Allen also had high praise for the creative team, Musical Director Craig Barna, Choreographer John MacInnis, and Director Glenn Casale.  He said that Casale is responsible for this whole new production that has us all excited.  Allen said, “His vision and his drive put this version of the show together and we can’t wait to show everyone!”

While Matt Allen is enjoying Paper Mill’s run of The Little Mermaid, he also looks forward to being back at the playhouse in the fall doing Honeymoon in Vegas.

The Little Mermaid will be performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse from 6/5/13 to 6/30/13, eight times a week, Wednesday to Sunday.  Tickets can be purchased at the Paper Mill box office, by calling the playhouse at (973) 376-4343 or by visiting their website, www.papermill.org.  

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