The Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s upcoming production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast offers a musical extravaganza with a touch of Christmas spirit when it opens Friday, Dec. 8, and continues through Saturday, Dec. 30.
Review for Beauty and the Beast:
Back by demand after previous Theatre Centre productions in 2005 and 2009, this family-friendly musical will take audiences into the enchanted world of Broadway’s modern classic. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature of 1991 and incorporating many of its beloved musical numbers, this “tale as old as time” will feature outstanding voices, splendid costumes, spectacular sets and surprising special effects. As a joint production of the Theatre Centre and its youth program, the 50-person cast includes volunteers young and old and will appeal to audiences young and old as well.
In the title roles are Theatre Centre newcomer Jordan Otis as Belle and CTC favorite Scott Shaw, last seen as Black Stache in this summer's Peter and the Starcatcher, as the Beast. Other featured actors are Deb Meeks (Mrs. Potts), Alex Champion and Charlie Clevenger (alternating in the role of Chip), Jared Cotton (LeFou), James Cunha (Gaston), Jason Russell (Lumiere), Rodney Strong (Maurice) and Jesse Wilyat (Cogsworth).
The stage adaptation features music by Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, lyrics by celebrated lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Tony Award nominee Linda Woolverton.
Dating back to a late 18th-century French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle, a bright young woman who feels out of place in her provincial French village. When her father is imprisoned in a mysterious castle, Belle’s attempt to rescue him leads to her capture by the Beast, a grisly and fearsome monster, who was long ago trapped in his gruesome form by an enchantress.
The only way for the Beast to become human once again is if he learns to love and be loved in return. There is a time limit, too: once a magical rose loses all of its petals, all hope will be lost and he will stay a Beast forever.
The Beast’s enchanted household - populated by such beloved characters as Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Chip - watch anxiously as Belle and the Beast grow to understand and befriend one another. Their feelings grow ever deeper as the clock ticks and petals continue to fall off the enchanted rose. Will they confess their love for one another before it is too late?
The director is the theatre’s youth theatre director Scott Dunlap, with musical direction by Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Huseman, a resident of Signal Mountain, and choreography by Christi Barr.
Several school performances of the Theatre Centre production are scheduled. Public performances are set for Dec. 8-10, Dec. 14-17, and Dec. 28-30, with no performances on Christmas weekend. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 8-9 and 15-16, at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Dec. 9 and 16, at 2:30 p.m.; Sundays, Dec. 10 and 17, at 2:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Dec. 14 and 28, at 7 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, Dec. 29-30, at 7 p.m. Live captioning for the hearing impaired will be offered Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.
Admission is $11-$30 and available by visiting the Theatre Centre box office at 400 River St. (Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.), by calling the box office at 267-8534 or by going to TheatreCentre.com.