The enchanted tale of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be gracing the stage of the Clune Center next week when the student cast of this year’s Wilton High School spring show present the Broadway stage version of the classic story.
Beauty and the Beast involves the telling of Belle’s journey as she becomes exposed to life beyond her provincial town. She meets her father’s captor, the Beast—a cruel and terrifying creature, physically cursed by a wise enchantress. Belle feels condemned to spend her life imprisoned within the walls of the Beast’s castle—until she recognizes goodness within the monster and becomes more of an enraptured guest than a prisoner.
As this love story unfolds, audiences may enjoy all the classic, rousing, musical numbers including the selections, “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston,” and, of course, “Beauty and the Beast.” Belle is played by sophomore Rachel Strazza, while the Beast is played by senior Griffin King. Gaston, played by Ben Senneff, a junior, assumes the role of the antagonist who relentlessly attempts to win Belle’s affection.
“My favorite part of doing this show has been working with the cast,” says annual spring show director, Meredith Walker. “I think this has been the most talented and dedicated cast we’ve had in a number of years and so it’s really fun to show up in rehearsal and to know that you have a cast who’s going to give 500-percent at every rehearsal.”
In addition to putting in rehearsal time, the students are required to complete at least six hours of ‘tech.’ This involves working with stage designer, Christian Planton, to paint and construct set pieces. As well, in the effort to put together costumes for all cast members, producer Marty Kozlowski has contributed her expertise, accumulating elaborate attire for all characters.
While the entire cast, crew, and staff have been hard at work, Walker mentions the challenge of putting on such an involved production: “The hardest part in directing Beauty and the Beast was definitely making sure that all of the technical elements line up. There are a lot of costumes, a lot of wigs, a lot of locations for the set—just a lot of moving parts in every scene and making sure that they all line up has been really challenging.”
Choreographer Kristin Ruggieri and musical director Jerold Goldstein have also contributed much of their time in putting together dance numbers and rehearsing music. In addition to all of this assistance, professional performers and voice teachers Rick Hilsabeck and Sarah Pfisterer from Wilton’s Wiremill Voice Academy have put much effort into acquiring important prosthetic and makeup pieces.
Audiences are invited to join the WHS theater department for a memorable, fun-for-all-ages show. Performances are:
Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 20 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 21 at 4 p.m.; Mrs. Potts Tea party 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m.; Mrs. Potts Tea Party 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Prior to Saturday and Sunday’s matinees, there will be a meet-and-greet for young and old fans alike to get pictures and autographs with Belle and her friends, at “Mrs. Potts Tea Party,” while enjoying refreshments before each of the two matinees.
Tickets are now on sale for Beauty and the Beast, opening Thursday, May 19 at the Wilton High School Clune Center (395 Danbury Rd.), and cost $18/adult and $14/child. Attending the Mrs. Potts Tea Party is $10/family.
Tickets may be purchased by email or by calling 203.834.4844.