Maine West Fine Arts Department presents 'Beauty and the Beast'
Maine West's Fine Arts Department is excited to present Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" on February 24, 25 & 26 at 7 p.m. and February 27 at 2 p.m. The show is directed by Mr. David Harmon. Tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults. To purchase tickets, visit www.mainewestdrama.org.
"Beauty and the Beast" is a French fairy tale that was first published in 1740. Since then, this tale of transformation and love has been adapted into books, films, and television shows. In 1992, Disney's animated film won Academy Awards for best picture, original film score, and for sound mixing. Maine West's production will include the show stopping tunes "Be Our Guest," "Gaston," and "Human Again."
In addition to the Sunday matinee on Feb. 27, there will be a special event prior to the show: "Storytime with Belle." This event will feature a meet and greet with several members of the cast who will also be reading a story, a photo session with cast members, and surprise gifts for attendees. The event runs from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at http://mainewestfab.com/musical/
The cast is made up of 55 students who auditioned and demonstrated skills in acting, singing, and dancing. "The energy of the cast is what stands out the most to me! This year's turnout for auditions was the biggest this school has seen in recent history," Harmon says about the cast and the audition turnout. "Watching some of the newer actors learn and engage with the more seasoned actors is amazing to see from a directing perspective."
The show will be accompanied by a full, live pit orchestra conducted by Bernie Gerstmayr, Maine West Band Director. The orchestra is composed of 27 student musicians from the band and orchestra programs at Maine West.
Behind the scenes is a tech crew of about 20 students, under the direction of auditorium manager Peter McManus. The crew is designing and constructing the set, designing and controlling the lighting, organizing all props, and handling all of the sound engineering. Costumes are being designed by the talented Kate Murphy.
Lex Haliotis, junior tech crew member, mentions how great it is to see a whole new group of people involved in this year's production and sharing his enjoyable experience on working on the set.
"The most enjoyable part of the process for me is the building of sets. It's really low energy and chill, just getting work done and hanging out. I think the audience will appreciate just how much we do, and how we make a lot of the things we do interesting."
For many of the new members, creating new connections and new friends has been an added bonus. Daniel Solomon, currently a sophomore, landed the role as Gaston.
"I personally have never been in a musical production before. This was my first audition, and I ended up landing a major role for which I'm extremely thankful." He also shares, "Secondly, the most enjoyable part of the process is watching my peers grow out of their shells, and experience new things alongside me. I've watched friends who have never been comfortable speaking in front of a crowd become full-fledged singers."
Playing Belle is senior Ali Krieger. She feels that after being in quarantine, when engaging with others was so limited, it has been very enjoyable to rehearse with people again and directly work together.
"What makes this production stand out from other productions is the energy, commitment, people, and all the work that we have put into it. Especially, unlike last year, this year we have the wonderful opportunity to perform live again! This musical is giving the students involved a chance to feel like we are getting back to normalcy."