April 23, 2011 7:40:00 PM
Jan Swoope - firstname.lastname@example.org
A rare rose, an enchantress'' spell, song, dance, twists and turns will surround the mysterious "Beast" and beautiful "Belle" in "Beauty and the Beast" when the Y Drama Team brings Disney''s rendition of this beloved fairytale to Joe Cook Auditorium in Columbus Friday and Saturday, April 29-30 at 7 p.m.
"This is a show we''ve wanted to do for a long time," enthused director Terri Gillis. "The Disney version of ''Beauty and the Beast'' has been a much-anticipated play for over three years, with a large cast and many male roles." A combination of talent auditioning this year plus sponsors'' help inspired Gillis and her supporting team to believe the time was right to take on the challenges of this expansive production.
The Drama Team is well-known for mounting quality productions -- among them "Annie" and "Alice in Wonderland" -- but this one stands out.
"This is the first time we''ve rented costumes from a professional costumer," Gillis noted. Expectation among the cast is running high, as actors await delivery of the raiment that will transform Ben Saint into the imposing "Beast," Logan Ferguson into "Cogsworth," the clock, or Hugh Saint into the candlestick "Lumiere."
The production is ripe with musical numbers and requires extensive choreography.
"If it weren''t for the choreography talent of Loren Seres and the musical talent of Bethany Brown, our vocal coach, and Vaughn Nickels and Mitzi McGill on keyboard, the magnitude of this production would have been almost impossible to pull off," stressed the director. "All our cast and crew have done such an amazing job through our nearly 75 hours of rehearsal to date," she said Wednesday.
Meredith Barefield will portray the pure-hearted "Belle."
"This is really on a bigger scale," said Barefield. "There are a lot of characters and so many musical numbers."
Soloists include Krista Green as "Mrs. Potts," the teapot, Isaac Saint as "Chip," her teacup son, Nate Saint as the conceited "Gaston" and Morgan McNabb as "LeFou." Younger actors will sing and dance in chorus roles as spoons, knives, forks, plates and napkins, even wolves and trees.
"This follows the Disney tale exactly. And there are lots of surprises, with special effects during the ''Beast''s'' transformation scene," promised Gillis. "This show is a first for the Y; we''ve had a lot of community sponsor support that we''re really grateful for. So many people have come together to help make it happen."
How to go
Tickets for "Beauty and the Beast" are $9 in advance at the Frank P. Phillips Y at 602 Second Ave. N., and any Y branch. Admission at the door will be $10. Capacity crowds are expected, said Gillis. For more information, contact the Y at 662-328-7696.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.