Local theater group stages Disney’s classic musical
Closed Door Entertainment wants to invite you to be their guest at their first mainstage show of the season. “Disney’s Beauty & the Beast is a tale that everyone loves,” says director JC Smith. “It’s fun for the whole family. Even if you’ve seen it before—even one of our previous productions—we’ve designed new sets and costumes and with the new people playing characters, it’s an entirely different show than people have seen before.”
“We did the show in 2011,” says Smith. “It is a classic that never gets old. We wanted to do a family show that would bring people in and also provide a challenge for the creative team. A lot of musicals you get the same thing—you make a house or a room, you make four windows and a door. This show gave all of our creative staff a challenge to think outside the box.”
Towards that end, Smith designed a very different set—and without giving anything away all he’ll say is it’s designed to look like an old children’s storybook. The sets have been predominantly built by Kevin Mullins and David Riall. The three people in charge of costumes are Sherrie Taggart, Joyce Trabue, and Randy Forester. They’re the main costumers of the show and Smith gave them free reign to do new takes on the designs.
Music Direction is by Terry Sanford and Sarah Pearson and choreography is by Jessica Laliberte Bowman.
For those unfamiliar with the tale, Beauty and the Beast is the story of Belle, a French provincial girl who loves to read and loves adventure. She meets a Beast, really a young prince trapped in a spell, and falls in love with him. If the Beast can learn to love her and be loved in return before time runs out, the curse will be lifted off him and those in his castle.
The leading lady is Kandace McInturff. “This is her first time as a leading lady,” explains Smith, “and we’re very happy for her. Belle has been a dream role of hers since she was a young girl. She brings a zeal to the role that people who are auditioning just for fun may not.” Beast is played by Bo Calloway, who has been in multiple shows with CDE and is no stranger to the stage.
Rounding out the cast of 26 are Zane Grennell as Gaston. “This is Zane’s first time onstage in any acting capacity. He’s just that guy born to play this role. I don’t think he has to act, he can just stand there,” jokes Smith. Lumiere is played by Andrew Boone and Cogsworth by Doug May. CDE veteran Tonya Lively portrays Mrs. Potts.
Beauty and the Beast was Disney’s first animated film to be made into a Broadway musical. The live stage show is mostly the same as the Disney movie and contains a lot of the songs that were in the original movie. Fans will recognize the Oscar-winning “Beauty and the Beast”, “Be Our Guest”, “Belle”, and “Gaston”. And the show has plenty of dancing china to spare.
“Having the personification of different things as far as animated objects, I think Beauty and the Beast has the monopoly on that,” laughs Smith.
For the little girls there’s a little something extra. “We’re doing a Belle’s Royal Tea on the Sunday after the first weekend. You can see Belle and other royal princesses there along with Mrs. Potts,” says Smith. Belle’s Royal Tea will be held at the ICCM Theatre on Lee Highway. Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets from the website.
There are six opportunities to see Beauty and the Beast. The show runs Oct. 7 & 8 and 14 & 15 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Oct. 8 & 15 at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets from cdoorent.com/boxoffice or at the Tivoli Box Office or at the door. The shows will be performed inside the Robert K. Walker Memorial Theatre at 399 McCallie Ave.
Closed Door Entertainment is a nonprofit based out of Rossville, Georgia. They have an orchestra of 60 members and everyone working on the production is a local volunteer. “This is our 10th anniversary season this year. It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 10 years but we have.”
CDE is hitting a lot of anniversaries this season. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the animated film. The spring CDE production of West Side Story will mark the 50th anniversary of that landmark musical as well. For more information on the CDE season, visit cdoorent.com.