Dis­ney clas­sic on stage

Ac­tors guild to pre­sent ‘ Beauty and the Beast Jr.’ this week­end

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - Front Page - BY ERIC PED­DI­GREE COPY EDI­TOR Con­tact the writer: eped­di­gree@ re­pub­li­can­her­ald. com; 570- 628- 6003

It’s the tale as old as time, and the Ac­tors Guild of Schuylkill County will tell it this week­end.

“Beauty and the Beast Jr.” will be per­formed at 7 p. m. to­day and Satur­day and 2 p. m. Sun­day at the Theatre at Si­mon Kramer, 15 Al­liance St., New Philadel­phia. Tick­ets are $ 15 for peo­ple 13 years old and older, $ 10 for chil­dren ages 4 to 12 and free for chil­dren un­der 3. They are avail­able from cast mem­bers, by call­ing 570- 617- 2720 or at the guild’s web­site atwww.agosc.org. Tick­ets will also be avail­able at the door, if avail­able.

The showis the stage ver­sion of the 1991Dis­ney an­i­mat­ed­movie. Amy Mills, di­rec­tor, said there are some dif­fer­ences, but all of the fa­vorite songs such as “Be Our Guest” and “Hu­man Again” are in the show. Be­ing the ju­nior ver­sion, the mu­sic is writ­ten in keys that are ap­pro­pri­ate for de­vel­op­ing voices.

Mills said the showis slightly shorter to ac­com­mo­date the young cast, but it can be ex­panded to get as many per­form­ers as can fit on the stage so more chil­dren have the op­por­tu­nity to be part of a live theater show.

There are 38 mem­bers of the cast rang­ing in age from 4 1/ 2 to 16 years old. They also have a young girl that had been in per­for­mances pre­vi­ously who is “learn­ing the ropes” with light­ing tech, Mills said.

Main roles in­clude Emily Hart as Belle, Michael Spotts as Beast/ Prince, Grant La­pachin­sky as Gas­ton, Bo McDonald as Le­fou, Mor­gan Flick as Lu­miere, Ella Frantz as Cogsworth, Emily Barrett as Mrs. Potts, Ava Ciarvella as Chip, Lily McDonald as Ba­bette, Rei­ley McDonald as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Mar­cus Smith as Mau­rice and Bri Hu­dock as Mon­sieur D’Arque.

Other cast mem­bers in­clude Alexa Gau­vreau, Julie Malek, Sarah Halupa and Caitlin Cap­pella as nar­ra­tors; and Sarah Malek, Madi­son Eroh and Lau­ren Ben­ny­hoff as silly girls.

The stage per­for­mance is sched­uled shortly af­ter the re­lease of Dis­ney’s live ver­sion film of “Beauty and the Beast.” The film stars Emma Wat­son as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast. Mills said it has cre­ated ex­tra ex­cite­ment from the cast. They ac­tu­ally made ar­range­ments to have a pri­vate view­ing of the new film at Pearl Theatre Sta­dium8 at Schuylkill Mall for the cast and their fam­ily.

“Ev­ery­one had a won­der­ful time and I think it helped the cast with their char­ac­ters and un­der­stand­ing of the story,” Mills said.

Mills said the showis a fa­vorite for many peo­ple.

“It’s a great time­less story,” she said.

For­more information, visit the ac­tors guild web­site or Face­book page.

JAC­QUE­LINE DORMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Mem­bers of the Ac­tors Guild of Schuylkill County’s pro­duc­tion of “Beauty and Beast Jr.” in­clude, from left, Lily McDonald as Ba­bette, Mar­cus Smith as Mau­rice, Emily Barrett as Mrs. Potts and Ava Ciarvella as Chip. The show will be held at 7 p. m. to­day and Satur­day and 2 p. m. Sun­day at the Theatre at Si­mon Kramer in New Philadel­phia.

Emily Hart will por­tray Belle in the pro­duc­tion.

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