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Beauty and the Beast opens this Friday


Ryan Bartley, who plays Gaston, rehearses a song.

Skylar Jakubiak, Staff Writer

The Disney channel adaptation of the 1740 novel Beauty and the Beast is hitting the New Berlin West Performing Arts Center with a bang. After many rehearsals, the cast and crew are finally ready to make their big debut on December 9 at 7 P.M. The director, Katherine Sarner, started her theater career at 8 years old by playing the lead Annie. Since then she has gone on to do many more plays, “the last time I counted I was over 150” said Sarner. 

When asked why she chose Beauty and the Beast, Sarner said, “To get someone excited about what they’re seeing, they need to know what it is… especially in this time of our lives everything is in turmoil and people just want to have a happy story.” The goal is for this show to give their audience a break from their crazy lives outside the PAC. 

Senior Ryan Bartley, who plays Gaston, says, “Mamma Mia was awesome, but we’re about to blow that out of the water on December 9th.” Not only will Bartley have the opportunity to further his acting career, but this starring role also gives him a chance at winning a Jerry Award (an award for high school theater in Wisconsin) and being chosen to go to a week-long camp in New York City. 

“There are still a couple of things that need to be done such as painting the floor to better match the vibe of the show,” says freshman crew member Kat Graesing. Along with these last-minute fixes, the show has many props that will give even more of a magical feel. Such as a remote-controlled box on wheels to represent the stool that later turns into a dog. Along with the fantastic props and lights, there will also be costumes to best embody the original characters. 

Senior Mercy Holbrook, who plays Madame de la Grande Bouche, also known as the wardrobe, mentions, “The hardest part about my role is probably my costume because it weighs a lot and is very big.” 

Junior Micah Cannariato who plays Belle says, “If I had to sum up the show in only 4 words I’d probably say that it’s: magical, charismatic, fun, and deep, while that seems like a really odd list, I think our take on Beauty and the Beast stays true to the original, yet also adds a lot of layers and dimensions that make the show feel all the more real.” 

Other words used to describe this show are exciting, classic, timeless, and cheerful. Not only will people stay interested throughout it will also hold a smile on everyone’s face. “Beauty and the Beast is such a fun show and it’s almost impossible not to have a smile on your face when you watch dancing forks and singing foods!” said Cannariato. 

Overall, this show is a tale as old as time which can keep people of all ages intrigued throughout. You can purchase tickets from the book keeper located downstairs in New Berlin West, online at https://nbexcellence.org/community/westpac.cfm, or the box office on December 9-18th at 7pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday.