Lompoc Youth Theater is proud to present its fifth summer musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Junior. Lompoc Youth Theater was founded in 2009 to bring quality live theater to our community. As well as to fill the void that was left in school when the arts were being removed from the school curriculum. Past productions include Annie, The Sound of Music and last years performance of The Music Man.
Director Joyce Mayhew creates Disney magic with a unique perspective. The Beast, played by Creeka Drap, is not the expected lion-like character from the cartoon, but rather an unkempt, angry and lonely man. The actors bring every object of the castle to life, from library books, table napkins, a magic mirror and the trees of the forest. This includes the Enchanted Rose, which is now being personified by ballet dancer, Eleanor Brogdon. Emma Rosen plays the independent thinking Belle, who is not impressed by the obnoxious and conceited Gaston, played by Gabriel Thomas.
The story begins on the streets of Belle’s home in a small provincial town, where a lively group of villagers are beginning their day. Belle’s father takes off for an invention competition but is soon lost in the woods until he comes upon the castle where the Beast lives. Belle searches for him and finds her way to the castle, where she is taken prisoner. Soon the castle servants, transformed into the objects they once took care of, welcome Belle; hoping that she will fall in love with the Beast and break the enchanted spell. Although they despise each other initially, slowly Belle and the Beast become friends as they spend more time together. The Beast eventually realizes that Belle would be better off at home and sends her back to the village. Once there, the villagers learn of Belle’s imprisonment by the Beast and fear for their own safety. Soon a mob goes after the Beast and an epic battle takes place at the enchanted castle. The mobs leader, Gaston, finds the Beast locked away within the castle and attempts to kill him. Love triumphs however and the spell is broken and everyone lives happily ever after.
Vocally directed by Katie Fernandez, this production includes many of the familiar songs form the Oscar winning movie such as “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as two numbers written only for the musical, “Home” and “Human Again.” Ms. Fernandez lives in Washington DC, where she has recently worked with Barry Manilow and John Williams. Ms. Fernandez came to Lompoc this summer to work with Lompoc Youth Theater. UCLA graduate Amanda Holdsambeck skillfully choreographs the cast of fifty elementary through college students in joyous, show-stopping numbers. The whimsical sets are designed by Lara Schmeiser and costumes for the show have been designed by Broadway veteran Gioia Marchese. The shows technical direction is lead by Tim Meske, a recent PCPA graduate.
Performances will be in the Lompoc Civic Auditorium, 217 South L Street. The dates of the show will be August 2nd and 3rd at 7pm and August 9th and 10th at 7pm, with a special matinee show at 2pm on August 10th. Ticket prices are $10 and $12. Presale tickets are available at the Anderson Recreation Center and at Transcendence Winery for $8 and $10 until July 28th.
To learn more about Lompoc Youth Theater or to contribute to the program, visit www.lompocyouththeater.org.