|Shala Pitchforth as Belle and Dory Peacock as Mrs. Potts.|
The Emery High School Drama Department will present the musical Beauty and the Beast on Nov. 17-19 at 7 p.m. at the Emery High Auditorium. This great family oriented production is the Disney version of the play and has just very recently been on Broadway. It was released for amateur production this year and Emery High School will be one of the first high schools in the state of Utah to perform this play.
This is the timeless tale of Belle who is considered out of place in her small village because she loves to read and to learn and to exercise her imagination. Gaston, the local bully has decided that Belle is the most beautiful girl in the village and so he must have her for his wife and begins to woo her. Belle rejects Gaston's advances which only increases his desire to possess her. Belle's father, an inventor, becomes lost in the woods and finds his way to an enchanted castle where the prince of the manor has been turned into a horrible beast because of his inability to love.
Also in the enchanted castle the servants have been changed into household items: Lumiere the candelabra, Cogsworth the clock, Mrs. Potts the teapot and her son Chip, Babette the feather duster and La Grande Bouche the wardrobe, along with a host of dishes, forks, spoons, knives, etc. Belle finds her father in the castle and offers to live with the beast for the rest of her life if he will free her father. The beast agrees and though Belle is at first fearful of the beast she eventually learns to tolerate and then to like him. The local townsfolk learn of the beast and with Gaston as their leader, they attack the castle. Gaston and the beast fight and Gaston is killed and the beast is wounded and dying when Belle realizes that she loves the beast. He also realizes that he loves her and the spell is broken. All of the household items are restored as people again and the beast is healed.
The Disney version of the play include popular songs "Belle," "Be Our Guest," "The Mob Song," and "Beauty and the Beast." The Emery High cast includes 32 student actors and a pit orchestra. The play is directed by Neal Peacock with musical help from Merilee Cox, Eileen Lofthouse, Ben Carroll, and soloist coaching by Natalie Blackwell.
Some of the actors include: Shala Pitchforth as Belle, Nick Cox as Maurice, Trax Decker as Gaston, Dory Peacock as Mrs. Potts, Paul Arnold as Lefou, Jasha Hinkins, Leslie Urie, and Holly Damron as the Three Silly Girls, Scotty Phillips as the Beast, Mitchell Watson as Cogsworth, Jordan Sanders as Lumiere, Erik Lofthouse as Chip, Trevor Rowley as d'Arque, Laurel Lemon as Babette, Candice Jensen as La Grande Bouche, and Sonny Robertson as the Carpet.
The orchestra is conducted by Ben Carroll and the set for the production was designed by Neal Peacock and built by the theatre classes. Costumes are being rented from the recent Tuacahn production of Beauty and the Beast.
The play runs about two hours with a 10 minute intermission. The cost for tickets is $5, with students under 12 able to get a $1 discount and senior citizens are $4.
For information about the production or to reserve tickets, call Emery High School at 381-2689.