Bringing "Beauty and the Beast" to the stageEast Ridge High School is inviting everyone to be their guest for their fall musical — “Beauty and the Beast,” which debuts Nov. 12.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
East Ridge High School is inviting everyone to be their guest for their fall musical — “Beauty and the Beast,” which debuts Nov. 12.
The musical tells the story of a prince who has a spell put onto him and transforms him into a monstrous beast. His castle is also put under a spell, which turns all of his servants into objects. The only way the spell can be broken is if “the Beast” can find true love, which is where the female protagonist Belle comes into the picture.
Senior Kajsa Jones, who will play Belle, said the Disney version of “Beauty and Beast” was one of her favorite movies growing up.
“It is every little girls dream to be Belle, so this is my dream role,” she said. “This actually feels like you’re in a fairy tale.”
“‘Beauty and the Beast’ is one of those tales that speaks to us of redemption and the idea that we can be better,” said Amanda Hestwood, East Ridge High School theater director. “The show is also about how we can be different, but still find love.”
Hestwood said “Beauty and the Beast” allows her theater students to incorporate plenty of technical aspects to the performance on stage.
“We have this opportunity to make our technicians highlighted.”
Preparing for the musical has left many of the “behind-the-scenes” contributors with a large undertaking from the sets to the costumes to the musical numbers that bring the popular Disney animated movie to life.
“Everybody feels very connected to this show,” Hestwood said.
From the ‘big screen’ to the stage
In producing the theater adaptation of a Disney animated movie, there has been some very specific challenges in putting the show together, Hestwood said.
“I love going off in different directions, but you have to stay plugged into what people know or you’ll lose your audience,” Hestwood said. “But, it’s very important that you look at it as a unique piece.”
Some of the differences between the film and the play include the length, additional songs, more characterization and even slightly different sub-plots, Hestwood said.
Hestwood said creating the set, especially the castle, has been a big challenge, as well as figuring out how to do some of the special effects such as the rose and the Beast’s transformation.
To date, the crew has logged more than 2,000 hours on costumes, sets and other technical aspects.
“Taking a Disney animated movie and making that real life presents challenges that are not there in an average musical,” Hestwood said.
Making the characters their own
Hestwood said her cast has been doing a wonderful job in bringing these iconic characters — Belle, the Beast, Mrs. Potts, Gaston, and Lumiere — to life.
“We have people who fit beautifully into these roles in such a way that it made it all very easy,” she said.
Julia Reimann, who will play Mrs. Potts, has the challenge of singing one of the movies’ most well-known songs.
“There’s a lot of pressure because there’s a lot of expectation,” Reimann said. “It’s a lot to live up to, but it’s really exciting because it’s just such a wonderful song.”
Hestwood said she is extremely excited to see everything come together.
“Come opening night, I just get to sit back and watch the show grow and watch what the kids do with it.”
East Ridge High School’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” will open Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m., with an opening night gala starting at 6 p.m. Additional performances are Nov. 13-14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Nov. 19 at 7 p.m., Nov. 20-21 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.
Tickets to the opening night gala and show are $10.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://www.theloftstage.com. Tickets are limited.