Pahiatua to stage Disney masterpiece
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.