Friday, April 13, 2012
By SARAH FOOR
After three months of hard work and practice, the St. Christine School cast of “Beauty and the Beast” brought a “tale as old as time” to life March 29 at the school.
The production closely followed the plot of the 1991 Disney movie adaptation of the story, where a pompous prince is turned into a beast until he learns to love another. It is not until he meets Belle, a smart young girl from a nearby French village, that the Beast learns to love and breaks the spell.
Director Anita Philibin said the production was chosen to complement the St. Christine acting talent, but the choice ended up being surprisingly timely.
“Disney actually re-released the film this January just as we started production. Many of the cast was able to see the movie in theaters and see what they could bring to their characters. It was especially great for some of our younger actors who hadn’t seen the film yet,” Philibin said.
The production featured 110 fourth- through eighth-graders in the main cast, supporting roles, stage crew and in lighting and sound. The production was the first St. Christine’s drama performance on a new expanded stage, which was used to its full advantage with multiple scene changes and large dance numbers.
The performance had toes tapping to the familiar tunes like “Be Our Guest” and the namesake song “Beauty and the Beast.”
Philibin said it took a village of people to complete the successful production, but she is proud how the drama program has grown this year.
“We tackled many more challenges with special effects, sets and lighting this year, and our actors have really brought to life a large group of distinctive characters. It’s been a wonderful journey,” Philibin said.