Beauty and the Beast -1
By Matt Helm
BELVIDERE ─ The students of Belvidere High School performed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 19 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center (PAC).
“This production has truly been a team effort: A team within the cast and a team effort between departments and colleagues. I am beyond proud of the work this cast and crew has done. It is a pleasure to watch them perform,” Director Karen Cantele said in a note in the program.
The musical followed the same story as the well known Disney movie, including the crowd-favorite songs “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
“It is amazing to see the transformation from first rehearsal to opening night,” Cantele continued. “While this show is a well-known favorite, we hope the audience enjoys our interpretation.”
Dan Holmes served as the set designer and technical director. He also played the titular role as the Beast. Katie Ernest played the role of Belle, Willem Kline as Gaston, Tyer Tippets as Lumiere, Nico Hartman as Cogsworth, Shannon Hart as Chip, Josh Simerly as Maurice, Renee Quilal-lan as Babette and Emma Knaup as Mrs. Potts.
“I really enjoy the song ‘Gaston,’ because I get to see Willem Kline, who is a percussionist in the band, developing as a singer,” Pit Director Dan Foster said. “He really takes charge of it and to see where he’s come from the first rehearsal is really great. He had no musical background and now he’s doing these impressive vocals and it’s amazing to see what he’s done.”
The show was a collaborative effort between the Vocal Music Department, the band and other departments within Belvidere High School.
Beauty and the Beast 2“We are all responsible for our own parts and worked really hard on them, it was only in the last three weeks that all of these moving parts came together and we got to work at rehearsal to get everyone on the same page,” Foster said. “It’s a blast having actors learn to sing with and belong with the instrumental group in the pit. It’s a massive undertaking but it’s a lot of fun and results in one week of pure magic.”
The cast, crew and pit orchestra consisted of over 100 people, including a children’s chorus from the various elementary schools in the Boone County area.
“I give my endless gratitude to Mr. Holmes and Mr. Foster for their help, wisdom, patience and most of all, for their dedication to the students at Belvidere High School,” Cantele said.
Pit Band member Josie Rodriguez said her favorite song to play is the “Mob Song.”
“It’s chaotic and complicated and really fun to play,” Rodriguez said. “I wish I had a better view from the pit of what was happening on stage but I know I’d get distracted.”
The professional video production company Masterview taped the Belvidere High School 2016 production of “Beauty and the Beast.” DVD copies are available to order at with the code “belvidere beast.”
“It’s always nice to come back and see how your friends are doing,” Belvidere High School alumni and former band member Shelby Weishaar said. “The only problem is it makes me nostalgic for my days in the band.”

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.