By DILLON RING | Junior Reporter
Last night I saw the most amazing rendition of “Beauty and The Beast Jr.” at Theatre Palisades. It was opening night, and you could feel the excitement and anticipation in the audience as the show began.
I was astounded by how much talent and hard work there was at the show. Bring all of your friends, because the big show is here!
The story of “Beauty and the Beast” is about a young prince who was cast under a terrible spell, which made him a beast. He was also given a rose. Once the rose bloomed and the last petal fell, then the spell was permanent.
To break the spell, the Beast had to fall in love and somebody had to love him back. Eventually, a young girl, Belle, stumbles across the abandoned castle where she learns that beyond the hideous appearance, there is a kind, beautiful prince.
The amount of time and effort put into this show by the young actors, directors, producers and parent volunteers was stupendous. The daily rehearsals took place at the day camp that Theatre Palisades Youth hosts. They work tirelessly for three weeks, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to this, all actors were required to know all their lines by the beginning of the first day of camp. Also, the final week is the “tech week” where they stay even later, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. One day, they even went on Saturday and rehearsed until 7 p.m.! The whole thing took 130 hours to prepare for.
The actors and actresses ranging from age 7 to 14 were amazing. There were an abundance of applicants for the different roles in the play. Competition was fierce.
After everybody was cast, there was a total of more than 50 kids in the show. The lead roles were triple casted, meaning that each role had three people playing it.
The cast on opening night was amazing. Belle, played by Barrett Eastman, has a stunning voice and played the character beautifully. Next, the Beast, played by Johnny Oscarson, displayed the personality of the beast with fervor and passion.
Gaston, performed by Riley Stoler, had lots of expression and was very vociferous in her acting. Finally, Cogsworth, played by Kayla Ring, had the audience laughing in stitches, and Lumiere, played by Theo King, had a truly authentic French accent.
The set design was outstanding. The set was built by a parent volunteer team, led by Jeff Dixon, and the set was painted by Katie O’Neil, another dedicated parent volunteer.
Lara Ganz, the inspirational director who organized the whole show and let each and every actor shine, teamed up with Caitlin Tortorici, the brilliant music director, to bring this incredible show to the Theatre Palisades Youth.
This summer, visit your community theater to see how the Palisades’ kids perform in their take of the famous story “Beauty and the Beast.” You will love it!
For show times for this upcoming weekend, visit theatrepalisades.com.
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