Spring Musical Preview: Be Our Guest In March

As the winter months close in, the musical theatre troupe here at Central is preparing to warm everyone’s hearts back up in the spring as they perfect and bring life to their rendition of Disney’s Beauty And The Beast.

The beloved show will take place in Central’s auditorium March 5-8, though exact start and end times have yet to be decided. Tickets are $7.00 for students and $12.00 for adults at the door with no need to reserve or pay in advance. Mr. Parks, the choir director, describes it as a “first-come-first-served” opportunity. They are set to go on sale in February.

This production’s crew is one of the largest with 34 total cast members and even more people behind the scenes. Here are some of the main roles you’ll see lighting up the stage:

Main Cast List:
Belle – Katie Thorp (Sn)
The Beast – Alex Gadd (J)
Lumiere – Isaac Katz (F)
Cogsworth – Brett Beard (Sn)
Gaston – Aidan Simmons (F)
LeFou – Tiana Williams (Sn)
Mrs. Potts – Hope Ben (Sn)
Chip – Emma Summerford (J)
Madame de la Grande Bouche (Wardrobe) – Mikayla Maldonado (Sp)
Babbette (Featherduster) – Kenna Lyle (Sp)

The crew rehearsing choreography for “Human Again”

If you had a VHS or DVD player or even happened to be one of the lucky souls to catch it on cable TV, the classic Beauty And The Beast is a favorite of many generations young and old. This was exactly the thought that occurred to student director Jacob Sousley at the beginning of this year when he resumed his position as director in musical theatre.

The original choice for the spring production was an Elvis-inspired musical called Bye Bye Birdie by Michael Stewart. However, due to licensing and various other technical issues, Jacob made a spontaneous decision to change it to Beauty And The Beast just days before auditions.

Though the decision itself was spontaneous, the idea has long been waiting for an opportunity to present itself. Since Jacob first arrived at Central in 2016, he’s dreamt of putting together the story and sharing the tale as old as time he holds so dearly in his heart. When things weren’t working out with Bye Bye Birdie, he knew the perfect solution.

Since Jacob is a Senior this year, this is the last show he’ll be directing for musical theatre. “It’s very sad, but it’s my favorite show,” he said as he described all the good times he’s had as director and how much of a learning process it’s been for him to grow. He’s excited to “go out with a bang” and that “this is the perfect way to do it”.

Gaston, LeFou, and a doctor hash out their differences during a bar scene

Beauty And The Beast didn’t come without its challenges, however, and the biggest challenge is Disney. Mr. Parks had no issue explaining all the tribulations that come with putting on a Disney-owned production. Because they’re such a big corporation, they keep tight leashes on all of the things they own. Things like getting the proper paperwork can be a pain. “Disney’s pretty picky about when you do their shows,” he says, “it’s crazy”. Even small details like the font sizes on all the documents have to be at certain percentages with all the credits in place in specific orders.

No matter the challenges or limits, musical theatre is thrilled to bring the tale as old as time to the stage and to their peers. They encourage everyone to be their guests and come see the classic told through their hard work and lively interpretation this spring, and they can’t wait to see you there.

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