Chapel Hill News

East meets ‘Beast’ in spring musical

"A lot of it is comic relief, but I think about how much in his heart he cares about what is going on," junior Michael Combs, 16, (left, with Julian Fernandez as Cogsworth) says of playing Lumiere in East Chapel Hill High School's version of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" being presented Thursday through Saturday, March 3-5. Advance sale tickets available at www.eastreservations.org. The musical version of the popular Disney animated film was Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's last collaboration and includes songs from the movie, as well as additional tunes from the Tony-nominated Broadway production.
"A lot of it is comic relief, but I think about how much in his heart he cares about what is going on," junior Michael Combs, 16, (left, with Julian Fernandez as Cogsworth) says of playing Lumiere in East Chapel Hill High School's version of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" being presented Thursday through Saturday, March 3-5. Advance sale tickets available at www.eastreservations.org. The musical version of the popular Disney animated film was Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's last collaboration and includes songs from the movie, as well as additional tunes from the Tony-nominated Broadway production. mschultz@newsobserver.com

East Chapel Hill High School Drama Department presents Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” on Thursday through Saturday, March 3-5.

The musical version of the popular Disney animated film was Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s last collaboration and includes songs from the movie, as well as additional tunes penned for the Broadway revival, a rousing ballad for the Beast and a touching duet with Belle and Maurice. Premiering in 1993, it was nominated for five Tony awards, including best score and book for a musical.

East Chapel Hill’s drama department is taking on this show with 15 set pieces, approximately 120 lights, 70 costumes, and more than 400 technical cues to make it all work together. Director and theater teacher Hope Hynes Love is confident the show will be one of the department’s best despite the sheer volume of technical challenges presented by the structure of a Disney musical.

“We’ve stopped calling it ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” she says. “It’s been shortened to simply ‘The Beast’ ... but we’re always up for a challenge.”

The cast includes Eden Bartholomew as Belle, Dean Kivotidis as the Beast, Chase Sieradzan as Gaston, Michael Combs as Lumière, Migdalia Ramirez as Mrs. Potts, Ellison Young as Babbette, Kristen Weatherley as Mme de la Grande Bouche, and Julian Fernandez as Cogsworth. Come see the live version of this childhood classic performed locally.

Prices for the Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m. performances are $9 in advance, $13 at the door. Thursday, March 3, show is a family show with an earlier curtain time at 6:30 p.m and reduced ticket prices to accommodate groups. Advance sale available at www.eastreservations.org.

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