THEATRE: ‘Little Mermaid’ dream gig for Maloway, who also loves ‘Super Monsters’ role on Netflix show

Cloverdale-raised actor plays Princess Ariel in musical staged by Align Entertainment

Cloverdale-raised actor Elyse Maloway stars as Princess Ariel in Align Entertainment’s production of “The Little Mermaid

Cloverdale-raised actor Elyse Maloway stars as Princess Ariel in Align Entertainment’s production of “The Little Mermaid

A starring role in “The Little Mermaid” is a dream gig for Elyse Maloway, who grew up watching – and loving – the Disney film.

The Cloverdale-raised actor plays Princess Ariel in the musical, staged by Align Entertainment at Burnaby’s Michael J. Fox Theatre until Feb. 18.

Maloway, 23, doesn’t remember the first time she saw the animated film, but she does recall why she loved it.

“It’s one of the stories I enjoyed because the princess wasn’t very princess-y, she was kind of awkward and curious and doing things she wasn’t really supposed to do, things that had been forbidden from her, and that’s why she was curious,” she told the Now. “I liked that about her – a bit rebellious and really fun.”

Lavish sets, costumes and full orchestra are part of the show, which is billed as B.C.’s first large-scale production of the musical.

In case you missed the movie, the story is about a mermaid who dreams of the world above the sea, and risks everything to find love.

Maloway’s own story involves musical-theatre training at Capilano University in North Van and roles in plays staged by Surrey Little Theatre, White Rock Players, Royal Canadian Theatre and other local companies.

This year, she has a starring role in “Super Monsters,” a new Netflix original animated series aimed at preschoolers.

“The show tries to be educational and also fun,” Maloway explained, “and we’re doing prelay (voice recording) right now, so it should be on Netflix sometime next fall, I believe.”

Maloway plays Cleo Graves, among a group of “regular” kids who become monsters at night.

“Cleo turns into a mummy at Super Monsters school and her mother is Cleopatra,” Maloway explained. “She’s adorable, and I’m learning so much doing it, because it’s my first big thing like this, my first lead.”

Film and TV work is what Maloway will focus on this year, leaving not much time for live theatre.

“At this point in my career I’m putting a lot of effort into pursuing film and television acting as well as the voiceover work, so it is kind of hard to do that and also live theatre at the same time,” she said. “For film, you audition today, you have the call-back in two days and you’re on set three days later, so you can’t really have other commitments at the same time, or it’s very difficult if you do. I will take a bit of a break from live theatre just because of that, especially with pilot season coming in March and April, a big time for film. There should be some pretty good pickins (for auditions) during that time.”

As for “The Little Mermaid,” a Family Day matinee staging begins at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, with pre-show activities happening from noon to 1:45 p.m. All tickets that day are $15, with proceeds to the Michael J. Fox Theatre Scholarship Fund.

For regular-run tickets and other show details, visit Alignentertainment.ca.