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Making a Splash: Inside the Role of Ariel with the Musical's Leading Lady

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

Are you looking for live theater productions near you? Look no further than the Rose Center Theater, Orange County's premier performing arts center. From February 18 to March 5, the Center will be performing Disney's The Little Mermaid, a musical extravaganza that is sure to delight theater lovers and Disney enthusiasts alike.

Leading the cast is the talented April Malina, who will be returning to the iconic role of Ariel after her critically-acclaimed portrayal of Ariel in the 2016 RCT Musical Production. According to April, her love for theater and acting began at a very young age. "According to my entire family, I came out of the womb singing," she says. "My very first memory of life is from when I was 2 1/2 watching Annie on Broadway - I didn’t move a muscle, eyes wide open, mouth agape - and I memorized the entire show. 8 years later I found myself booking the title role at my first audition, and the rest was history! I've got music in my bones!"

But playing Ariel is no easy feat. April acknowledges the challenge of fulfilling the audience's attachment to the animated film - blending Jodi Benson's iconic portrayal with her own personal take on the character.

However, she finds immense joy in balancing Ariel's silly, quirky, and awkward side with grace, ease, and grounded moments. Additionally, says April, “Technically, the most challenging aspect of this role is singing effortlessly while skating gracefully on heely’s, tap dancing barefoot, and balancing quirky comedy with grounded grace as a mime in the 2nd act. It’s more fun than I’ve ever had in any role I’ve ever played. Honestly, I could happily tour as Ariel for years and never get bored!”

But April isn't the only one bringing her A-game to the stage. She raves about her talented castmates saying "I was blown away by this talented cast at our first reading! Especially my two Flounders - just floored with their talent. Audiences are in for a real treat as it’s not every day you get a cast like this!"

So, what can audiences expect from this production of The Little Mermaid? April hopes that they leave the OC performing arts center inspired to view the world through Ariel's eyes. She wants us to "discover the true beauty of the human experience through relentless curiosity and self-love, finding wonder and magic in all things, and a determination to follow your compass with authenticity."

Furthermore, the story's message of the power of love and how it can bring people together, even when they're from different worlds, is a universal theme that audiences of all ages can relate to. April says "Ariel's journey represents the best version of us, seeing possibility where others might see danger, embracing the unknown and making mistakes, but never losing hope."Ariel is a beloved character and April describes her as "the embodiment of love, curiosity, wonder, exasperation, elation, sincerity, compassion and independence. Her character represents the very best qualities in us, and we could all do with reflecting a little bit of Ariel from our hearts."

Don't miss your chance to see April Malina bring Ariel to life in this spectacular production of Disney's The Little Mermaid. Be sure to check out the arts events calendar and get your tickets now for this exciting theater event! Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney's The Little Mermaid is a beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl" and "Part of Your World."




Director & Musical Director: TIM NELSON


Technical Director: CHRIS CAPUTO

Rose Center Theater

14140 All American Way

Westminster, Ca 92683

February 18 to March 5

*Opening Night & Gala Performance: Saturday February 18 at 7:30 PM

Closing Performance: Sunday March 5 at 2:00 PM

7:30 PM - Evening Performances: February 18, 24, 25, March 3, 4

2:00 PM - Matinee Performances: February 19, 26, March 5

*Opening Gala; Join us on Saturday February 18 at 7:30 PM for a magical gala under the sea with complimentary hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and a meet and greet with the cast after the show!

Tickets: $19 - $45

Group rates and discounts for military personnel available. For more information contact our box office at or leave a message at 714-793-1150 ext. 1.

Promotional Resources & Press Contact

For more information, and press tickets, please contact Ryan Salazar at

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