Pahiatua to stage Dis­ney master­piece

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

There are Dis­ney clas­sics and en­dur­ing Dis­ney clas­sics and Pahiatua Reper­tory So­ci­ety, in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Manawatu Stan­dard, has cho­sen one that con­tin­ues to il­lu­mi­nate the­atres around the world.

The 25th an­niver­sary of Beauty and the Beast will be cel­e­brated in Pahiatua with a sea­son from Novem­ber 17 to De­cem­ber 3.

Beauty and the Beast is the en­chant­ing story of Belle who wants to ex­plore the world but finds her­self res­cu­ing Mau­rice, her fa­ther, from a cas­tle ruled over by the Beast. There she en­coun­ters the most won­der­ful crea­tures and the Beast him­self, who has a rough ex­te­rior but the soul of a hu­man prince in­side. How­ever, lurk­ing close by is Gas­ton who wants to cap­ture her and hunt down the Beast at all cost.

The mu­si­cal, writ­ten by Tim Rice and oth­ers with a score by Alan Menken, will be directed by Hay­den Giles, with Shane Brown as mu­si­cal di­rec­tor and Han­nah Mills as chore­og­ra­pher.

Pahiatua Reper­tory pres­i­dent Chris­tine Lock­ett prom­ises a pro­duc­tion that the au­di­ence will never have ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore.

‘‘We’re cre­at­ing a 180 de­gree vis­ual ef­fect that will trans­form the theatre into the Beast’s cas­tle, the ma­jor lo­ca­tion for the show,’’ Chris­tine says. ‘‘The tech­nol­ogy used is state-of-the-art and will make this fam­ily show very mem­o­rable.’’

In ad­di­tion the cos­tumes, which have toured New Zealand, are spec­tac­u­lar and have been de­signed by Weta Work­shops in Welling­ton.

Pahiatua has as­sem­bled a strong and tal­ented cast of 30 from both sides of the Tararuas.

Play­ing Belle is Katie Mon­aghan, an im­pres­sive young per­former from Palmer­ston North Girls’ High. Terry Ste­wart recre­ates the role of Mau­rice, Steve Jenk­ins, an ex­pe­ri­enced mu­si­cal theatre actor, is the Beast while the for­mi­da­ble Gas­ton is played by Nick Ross.

‘‘We’ve at­tracted a great cast who’ll make this end of year mu­si­cal a must for ev­ery­one to see,’’ Chris­tine says. ‘‘Beauty and the Beast is our ma­jor pro­duc­tion for 2016 and is fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment at its best.’’

Menken has writ­ten some en­dur­ing songs and big cho­rus num­bers such as Be Our Guest, Hu­man Again, Home but none more so than Beauty and the Beast it­self.

Chris­tine is ap­peal­ing to peo­ple from Manawatu and Tararua to sup­port the show. She says Pahiatua Reper­tory has a proud his­tory stretch­ing back more than 80 years and good at­ten­dances at Beauty and the Beast are es­sen­tial to se­cure the so­ci­ety for the fu­ture.

Book­ings at Tick­etDirect.

Sarah Don­nelly is Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast.

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