By Marianne Mueller

Beauty and the Beast opened on March 11. The talented students and directors put together an amazing show.

Hononegah High School’s Beauty and the Beast showcased an extra talented cast and ensemble. Audiences relived the storytelling of this ‘tale as old as time.

Filling the Performing Arts Center stage were the best of musicians, choral singers, actors and dancers who invited audiences to “Be Our Guest.” Together they welcomed a full house of musical lovers on the weekend of March 11-13.

Choir teacher Carolyn Frieden, Student Director  Mr. Christian Frieden and Stage Manager,  sophomore Annelise Mesa worked with a cast of around 50 students who  brought  this  popular story to life.

This production and rendition was based on music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and a book (script) written by Linda Woolverton.

Senior Sam Ross gave a convincing and moving performance as the iconic beast.  Ross’s pure talent was outstanding throughout the entire show; especially while trying to get Belle to love him; as evidenced in the song, “If I cant love her.”

One scene that stood out was when the Beast presented Belle with her own library full of books. This was the start of Beauty and the Beasts connection that eventually turned into love.

Another memorable highlight was where the Beast and Gaston made a fight scene look very realistic.

From her very first scene when Belle sets out to find her father Maurice and to sacrifice herself for his release. Olivia Coleman grabbed audience’s attention as she transformed into Belle. Coleman’s top notch acting and smooth, powerhouse vocals kept everyone hooked and wanting more.

The character of Gaston was brought to life by junior Casey Bohn. Bohn was incredible at playing Gaston’s conceit as well as in his comedic prowess.

Noah Brockway brought great  fun to the  character of Lefou. Colton Heinrich shone brightly as Belle’s father Maurice whose inventions were truly originals. Leo Galluzzo  played  the character of Lumiere opposite the equally talented Trinity Moffitt as  Cogsworth; each brought their “A game” in displaying  strong comedic talents.

Audry Piggot made a lovable Mrs. Potts. Kirra Fluegel was adorable in the role of Chip. Emma Kuo was fully entertaining as Babette. Olivia Gelander was Madame de la Grande Bouche and Jacob Dostal   portrayed Monsieur D’ Arque. Cassidy Eddy, Amiah Jackson, and Layla Qulillen stood out in their roles as the Silly Girls, while creating extra laughs.

 Sarah Yeager created great interest  as the  Enchantress. Gabe Kohl played the Young Prince. An ensemble sang, danced and acted in sync as the script flew off the pages of this Disney version.

Under the direction of Mr. Kramper a ten person live pit band played favorites tunes by adding special touches to  the theme song, “Beauty and the Beast,” Be Our Guest, Belle, Gaston,  Something There, The Mob Song, A change in me, and reprises of various tunes.

Behind the scenes choreographers, set designers, lighting, and stage crews worked hard to help assure a quality production. Special and sound effects and well suited props added perfect touches to various scenes.

 Susan Dibble led the way to the cast and crew wearing striking costumes; each fittingly perfect for each character. The costumes played an integral role in unfolding the story. Costumes ranged from dinner ware, pepper, spectacular formal gowns, and Cogsworth’s detailed clock parts and Lumiere’s candelabras and accompanying candles.

Audiences Beauty and the Beast fell in love on stage the audience followed suit.  A well-deserved standing ovation was received in appreciation of a full team effort as everyone discovered that beauty always comes from within.

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