Drama students do Disney

LCHS students bring new life to tale as old as time in 'Beauty and the Beast'

June 01, 2011|By Andrew Shortall,
  • Performers, Jacob Bonham, 15, from left, Maya Tripath, 18, and Laura McClelland, 18, rehearse before their dress rehearsal at La Canada High School on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Theatre students from La Canada will be performing Beauty and the Beast from June 2-5. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Performers, Jacob Bonham, 15, from left, Maya Tripath,…

Every year, the La Cañada High School theater department hopes to go out with a bang. This year, they'll look to accomplish that with an all-school production of “Beauty and the Beast,” based on the 1991 Disney movie of the same name.

A 50-member cast will bring the show to life. “Beauty and the Beast” will run from Thursday to Sunday at LCHS’ auditorium. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the show will begin at 7 p.m. There will also be matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The final show of the year is the one chance Justin Eick, LCHS' theater director, has the opportunity to work with middle-school students alongside the high school teens. And, “Beauty and the Beast” will be the first production this year when three distinct departments — the theater, choir and instrumental music programs — will work together on the same project.

“Our goal in mounting this final production is to create an opportunity for students from every walk of life to participate in the performing arts,” Eick said.


The local production of “Beauty and the Beast, which features music written by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and a book by Linda Woolverton, is larger than any stage show LCHS has previously tried to tackle.

“I would have to say this is, to my knowledge, the largest production the school has ever done in its history,” Eick said. “It is an unbelievably huge production.”

The “Beauty and the Beast” score will really allow La Cañada High's instrumental music program to shine, Eick said.

“It features Academy-Award winning music that will truly leave you humming those songs all the way home,” he said. “’Beauty and the Beast’ has such universal appeal, because the music is so recognizable and it has a simplicity to it. You can hum (the songs)all day long. They may be simplistic but that creates a true masterpiece.”

Ticket prices are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, which is a deal for a family-friendly production of this quality, Eick said.

“The themes may be more complex in older productions, but this play is universal and it's relatable to people ages 8 to 88,” he said. “You can bring the whole family, and you're going to see something that would rival anything at the Ahmanson or Pantages. I say that without hyperbole.”

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