White Webb Designs Broadway Dressing Room for Sherie Rene Scott in Her Star Turn as Ursula in The Little Mermaid

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Sherie Rene Scott stars as Ursula, the Sea Witch, in The Little Mermaid, Disney's latest Broadway production. To design a multi-functional and highly glamorous space for the star backstage, Ms. Scott hired the interior design duo of Matthew White and Frank Webb, of White Webb.

Starring in a show eight times a week may sound glamorous, but in truth it's a lot of hard work. So when Sherie Rene Scott asked White Webb, the New York interior design firm, to add a little glamour to her life by designing her dressing room, they were only too happy to help. Interior designers Matthew White and Frank Webb are old hands at designing dressing rooms for divas, having created a chic one for Chita Rivera for her Broadway turn in Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life. Ms. Scott, like Ms. Rivera, embodies all the good qualities of a diva -- meaning all the drama happens on stage.

And what delicious drama it is! As Ursula the Sea Witch, Ms. Scott plays a glam, over-the-top (and over the hill) octopus, who is the ultimate Disney villain. The physical transformation that the actress endures every night -- from stunning blonde to padded, wigged and tentacled sea witch -- is utterly amazing. For the star to succeed nightly with this "extreme makeover", White Webb immediately understood that the dressing room would have to play a leading role.

As a fortunate starting point, the space itself is quite special. Rather than the windowless cells that pass for most star dressing rooms on Broadway, Ms. Scott's is actually a suite of two cozy rooms, each with tall French windows overlooking a very Parisian railing and balcony. It was no surprise to learn that Elizabeth Taylor and Sting both used the very same room in their separate star turns on Broadway -- quite the pedigree.

The sitting room is very important to Ms. Scott. It is a place that she can greet friends and well-wishers, and a place where she can rest between shows on matinee days. It's also a place where her 3-year-old can play on the days when mom has two shows.

Central to the design is an astonishing mirror created by artist Clare Graham. With its shell-like encrustations, multiple convex mirrors and eight branches, it embodies the idea of a fantastical Octopus. It is precisely the kind of piece one might find in Ursula's Lair -- as outrageous and glittering as Ms. Scott's performance itself.

The room is immersed in relaxing, watery blues with a boldly patterned rug and simple, comfortable upholstered pieces. White Webb customized the slipper chairs with hand-painted details suggesting branches of coral. At the center of the room is a tea table lacquered in bright coral-red, the perfect place to have a quick bite or sip soothing tea for Ms. Scott's golden throat. At the center of the room hangs a simple pendant studded with starfish, another invention by White Webb to give the room a softer, more flattering light.

Above all, this room is a place where Sherie Rene Scott can metamorphose from an everyday (though stunning) working mom into the deliciously evil Ursula. Since the transformation is emotional, physical and dramatic, White Webb recognized the importance of creating a back-stage sanctuary that would both soothe and inspire. The end result is a space where Sherie Rene Scott can hit the high notes before hitting the boards on Broadway's new hit, The Little Mermaid.

About White Webb
White Webb, LLC is an interior design firm with offices in New York and California. The firm's principals, Matthew White and Frank Webb, bring a sense of history to every interior design project, but balance it with an appreciation for modern life. This blending of old and new is the hallmark of the White Webb sensibility. Whether working with major art and antiques in architecturally significant houses or creating a fantasy setting in the gallery world, White Webb approaches all projects with an eye toward the past and the future, and a touch of wit.

For more information on White Webb, visit http://www.whitewebb.com.

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TANYA JONSSON
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