Meet the “Little Mermaid” cast: Playing Ariel’s father, Gary Hull says it’s good to be the King

Gary Hull as King Triton in the Community Theatre of Howell's production of "The Little Mermaid." Photo by Susan Gronow.
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From now until opening night on Nov. 9, the Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of the Community Theatre of Howell’s production of “The Little Mermaid.”

After a long hiatus from the stage, Gary Hull found himself back in front of the footlights with the Community Theatre of Howell a few years ago.

And he’s feeling right at home.

Hull plays King Triton in the current production of “The Little Mermaid.” It’s his 10th show with CTH – seven backstage, and his third one on stage.

“My last performance was in 1994, when I played Riff in ‘West Side Story,’” Hull said. “Then I became involved with CTH both on and off-stage with my family.”

Hull played Captain Markinson in “A Few Good Men” and Kerchek in “Tarzan the Musical.” He’s also worked on CTH shows working in the tech booth on audio and video.

He’s thrilled to be back in costume and makeup as King Triton.

“The Little Mermaid” tells the tale of a rebellious 16-year-old mermaid named Ariel who is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, King Triton is forced to make the ultimate decision. Along the way, they encounter a variety of colorful and crazy sea creatures.

Hull lives in Fowlerville with his wife, Cassandra, and their kids, Nelson, 15, Nathan, 12, and Norah, 9.

He got involved with CTH when Nelson was cast in the group’s production of “Willy Wonka Jr.” as an Oompa Loompa.

“That’s how it all started,” Hull said. “After that, our middle kiddo joined in on the fun with ‘Little Mermaid Jr.’ as a clown fish.”

Hull works as a sales representative for BG Products, working with car dealerships and their service departments. In his spare time, he also enjoys coaching his kids in sports and enjoying the outdoors.

Gary Hull as King Triton

And he loves his time with CTH.

“I really enjoy the people involved,” Hull said. “We are a big extended family to each another. Watching all of our kiddos growing up in the theater is very neat. Watching our youngsters grow in roles they have worked very hard for is priceless. From small roles to big roles, it bring special moments throughout the years.”

As for “The Little Mermaid,” Hull is thoroughly enjoying his time as King Triton.

“King Triton is a powerful Merman,” Hull said. “And as a father, I feel I can relate to King Triton as a overprotective father. With three children at different stages of life, I think we have to build boundaries and protect them as they grow. Eventually they will be off on their own, finding their ways, their challenges, and building their own legacy.” 

Hull also loves the show itself.

“It’s one of my most favorite Disney movies,” he said. “I have always enjoyed this movie. To be able to act and sing on the stage is so much fun. I get to work alongside so many talented people that have been with CTH for many years. But to be a King for eight shows is pretty cool. Might not work at home but in fantasyland, it does.

“I really enjoy being able to share these life moments on the stage with my kiddos,” he added. “Being a part of their world and showing them to face their challenges head on, and build lifelong memories with them. This is truly a great group of people to share these moments with. Watching everyone’s characters come to life from day one and putting all the pieces together has been fantastic.

“Watching everything unfold from singing, dancing, acting, behind the scenes, and the hours everyone puts in. Each and every one of these members have a gift, and it’s being used on the production. The show is going to be incredible.”

The Community Theatre of Howell is presenting “The Little Mermaid” at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, 1400 W. Grand River Ave., Howell. Shows are Nov. 9-11 and 16-18, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday each weekend.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, available at Finding Roots in Howell, Maria’s School of Dance in Fowlerville, Big Acre in Brighton, and Ed Bock Feed and Seed in Pinckney. Tickets are also available by calling 517-545-1290, or online at cththeatre.org. You can buy tickets by clicking here.

About Buddy Moorehouse 175 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

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