July 2012

JULY 2012- OUR TOWN BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Author: ERIKA PYLE | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Everyone in the family will love the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast, according to Bluffton High School student Dan Brown, who plays Cogsworth in the Main Street Youth Theatre’s upcoming production. “Kids will like the story line and hearing songs they know(from the film version), while adults will appreciate how well characters are interpreted and changed,” he said.

Jean White, 18, agrees. She started in theatre six years ago and has been performing non-stop ever since. Now she’s playing the coveted role of Belle, and along with The Beast, Filip Belka, is performing a final show with Main Street Youth Theatre before graduating from high school.

“Beauty and the Beast appeals to everyone because it has everything: Kids love it because of the energy and adults love it because of the lessons it teaches,” White said.

Like most of the audience who will attend the production, White has seen the family film and recalls the first time she saw it. “I was absolutely obsessed,” she said, adding that she has never seen a live production of it.

Daniel Derrer, 22, is a theatre performance major at Winthrop University who’s been in more than 15 shows in the past four years there. He says he “jumped at the chance” to audition for Beauty and the Beast, because it was always one of his favorite shows when he was young. Playing the part of Lefou, he says he loves the play because of “how animated and big everything is.”

“Rehearsals are just full of excitement, and it’s always fun working with Jodi,” Derrrer added, referring to popular local director and choreographer Jodi Layman, who is returning to the Main Street Youth Theatre stage to create the production with 47 local actors, ranging in age from 8 to 70. Island new comer Bill Peterson is the musical director. Jean-Luc McMurty, a Main Street Youth Theatre veteran who’s headed to New York University to study acting and film and television in the fall says, that, like Derrer, he was “enamored with the exaggerated characters and comical interactions” when he first saw the film. His character, Gaston, “certainly has strong desires and ambitions, which I think everyone can relate to,” he said.

McMurty encourages audiences of all ages to see the play. “It is a live experience, always unique, with a different flavor every night,” he said. “If you haven’t seen the movie, come see the show, if you have seen the movie, come see the show!”
if you go: Performances of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be held at the Visual and Performing Arts Center, 70 Wilborn Road, July 11-13,18-20, and 25-29.

Curtain is at 7 p.m. every night through July 28 with a matinee at 2 p.m on July 29th. Group rates are available. To purchase tickets, visit Main Street Youth Theatre.org or call (843) 689-MAIN.

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