Lodi High School student performers invited community members and visitors abroad to “Be Our Guest” for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a musical.
Performances will take place Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m., Friday Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and Saturday Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Lodi High School Performing Arts Center.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors, and they are currently for sale at the Lodi High School Office. Attendees are able to reserve tickets by calling the Ticket Hotline at 608-592-3853 or going online. They will be available at the door as well, while supplies last.
The Beauty and the Beast musical is based on the animated feature film that premiered in 1991, and will feature iconic scores, “Gaston,” “Human Again,” Tony-winning song, “Beauty and the Beast” and more, according to the release.
The film itself tells a love story about a woman, Belle, a neighborhood bookworm and daughter of an inventor, and a man turned beast via magical spell. The beast resides in a dilapidated castle with his subjects, who have themselves been turned into various household items.
The beast must fall in love before a magical rose he possesses loses its last petal, or he will forever remain as he is. Belle becomes his only hope for true love in the end.
The Broadway adaptation of the film opened in 1994, and brought to life the animated version of the story with seven new songs. The new numbers were to emphasize Belle’s courage and bring out the Beast’s sensitive side, according to the release. The Broadway version ran for 13 years and 5,461 performances, in over 30 countries having entertained over 35 million people.
“Beauty and the Beast was a bucket list play for me,” Lodi High School Musical Director Erica Bardwell said. “It’s a beautiful show…The music is incredible…There’s gigantic dance numbers and the characters are so fun.”
She said she thought the musical would provide her students with an “opportunity to create a different world,” and perform something they haven’t before. When Bardwell went to her creative team with the idea around a year ago, they wanted to jump on it right away.
“It’s been challenging for all of us, but totally worth it,” Bardwell said.
Auditions and casting for the play took place in spring. Around 58 students auditioned, meaning over 125 costumes needed to be designed for all roles, she said. A gigantic castle called for construction as well.
The 83 students that made up the crew, cast, band and orchestra had their work cut out for them, along with the creative team and electrical staff.
“We had to start (building and setting up) a little earlier than normal,” Bardwell said.
Bardwell said she would like to thank her team and the students for their contributions, as well as Link USA for their sound work and Steve Ricks, technical director of Electronic Theatre Controls. Her creative team consists of Jason Marshall, orchestra director, Kate MacRae, vocal director, Mitch Falk, scene designer and Rae Senger, costume designer.