“Tale as old as time… Tune as old as song… Bittersweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong…”
So goes the classic song that reveals the story of a beautiful village girl who falls in love with the most unlikely of creatures—a hideous, often ill-tempered and sometimes sulky Beast. Yes, The Everett Theatre is presenting Alan Menken’s Broadway version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” the delightfully charming, musical tale where magic spells are cast, household objects come alive, and love makes everything right in the end.
“You get a lot of contrast with the Beast,” said Dale Martin, who plays the role. “He’s kind of complicated; he starts out hideous, deformed, and malicious, and he turns into a sweet, lovable guy at the end.”
The show is very much a community effort.
Veteran Everett actor and producer of the show Bo White said, “We’ve had a lot of new people join our cast, and it’s been exciting to see all this amazing talent coming together to put on a very difficult show with a lot of choreography.”
He said this show only happens because of the remarkable contributions of area residents.
“The sets are amazing, and it’s all about our local volunteers,” White said. “At last count, we had some 45 volunteers putting in more than 450 hours just to paint and put the sets together. It’s going to be a wonderful community theatre experience!”
The show features several new actors in The Everett’s troupe, including Jason Messinger, who plays Gaston, a role that is “totally opposite from his usual personality.”
Seasoned actor, yet Everett newcomer Ed Emmi, when asked what made this production enjoyable, stated, “It’s always fun doing something with a brand new group, and a lot of new friends who are all working together to create something really nice…. It’s beautifully staged, the costumes are magnificent, and the actors and backstage staff have really poured their hearts into it.”
Although the story does not have a Christmas theme, it ties closely to the Christmas spirit.
“This story makes you feel like you’re a kid again… it’s fun for people of all ages,” said Stephanie Bailey, who plays Babette. “There are so many things to visualize with the costumes and the choreography, there’s beautiful music, and the story is just so beautiful and genuine.”
“It’s about giving and receiving love,” said Mark Casenta, who plays Cogsworth. “To me, that’s what is most important around the Christmas holiday.”
Lead actress Mary Everett, who is Belle, puts it this way: “This show sends out a message of not judging a book by its cover, and I think—especially around the holidays—people think about that more, and it’s a good message to spread not just around Christmas but throughout the year.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT “Beauty and the Beast”
WHEN Dec. 2 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 2 p.m.
WHERE The Everett Theatre, 47 W. Main St., Middletown
TICKETS Adults $18; seniors and students $15; ages 12 and under $10