Ridgewood High School to present ‘Beauty and the Beast’

| March 28, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE – The tale as old as time comes to the Ridgewood High School on April 13 – 15 when the drama department presents “Beauty and the Beast”. A cast of 54 talented young actors have been working tirelessly to bring this story to life for the West Lafayette community for the past few weeks.

“Miss Evans and I in the spring felt like we wanted to do this one because it is very chorus-driven,” said Director Jill Collins. “Many of our ninth graders were in the children’s chorus just a few years ago when we did ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat’. These are really talented kids that can sing.”

Hayley Evans and Collins prepared to bring this show to Ridgewood by attending 10 different performances of “Beauty and the Beast” in the state and being inspired by how other high school productions presented the play.

The play begins with an enchantress entering a castle asking for shelter. But because of her ragged appearance, she is turned away by the handsome prince. As punishment, she turns the young prince into a hideous beast. He will remain so until he is able to love another and receive their love in return.

Years later, Belle encounters the beast as she is trying to rescue her father, who has become the beast’s prisoner. After Belle swears to replace her father as a prisoner, she and the beast slowly begin to trust one another and the enchanted objects in the castle realize that she may be the one to break the spell.

Hope Asbury portrays Belle and Zade Adkins is the beast.

“It’s such a well-known character that I want to put my own spin on it,” said Asbury. “I want to make it our own, and make it unique and original compared to other shows.”

While still in her quiet village, Belle is being courted, or trying to be courted at least, by handsome, conceited Gaston, who is portrayed by Harrison Orand.

“He’s kind of seen as a man’s man,” said Orand. “This role has gotten me out of my shell. He’s pompous, full of himself, and loved and hated by everyone at the same time.”

Gaston’s friend, LeFou, assists him in his many dastardly deeds throughout the play, all the while looking up to Gaston as a role model.

“He’s kind of like a wacky cartoon character,” said Jason Paugh, who portrays LeFou. “He’s kind of like me, I’m wacky and kind of cartoony too. He brings a lot of comedy to the play and I think I do that in my everyday life.”

One of Gaston’s many evil deeds is his idea to lock Maurice, Belle’s father, in an insane asylum unless Belle agrees to marry him. Enter Monsieur D’Arque, the head of the asylum, portrayed by Gavin Norman.

“He’s in charge of the insane asylum and he’s also a villain,” said Norman. “He’s not really a nice guy. He’s all about money. If he gets paid, he’ll do anything.”

When Belle arrives to thwart his plan, she proves to the townspeople that the beast is real and Gaston heads to the castle, followed by the townspeople, to kill the beast. Once they arrive at the castle, they are met by all the enchanted household objects who swore to protect their master against invaders.

Two of the most faithful household objects are Lumiere and Cogsworth, portrayed by Trevor Hawkins and Danielle Geer respectively.

“I like that I get to be a little bit more of myself,” said Hawkins. “Lumiere has a lot of smooth-flowing movements and sasses the other characters.”

“I like that the character has an attitude like mine,” said Geer. “It’s definitely easy to play.”

The love of Lumiere’s life, Babette the feather duster, is played by Waverly Ridenbaugh.

“Babette is the house flirt,” she said. “I’ve never played a character like her before. It’s definitely not who I am so her character has been difficult but it’s been fun for me.”

Another character, dedicated to providing the beast a well home-cooked meal each day, is Mrs. Potts, portrayed by Kyla Geer.

“She’s like the mother to everybody,” said Kyla. “She’s the mother to Chip, but also to Belle and the Beast. She’s a motherly figure and I definitely feel like I’m the motherly figure backstage.”

Mrs. Potts’ little boy, Chip, is played by 9-year-old Benjamin McCurdy.

“It kind of gets me around these wonderful kids,” he said. “What I like about the character is it’s so unique and he’s so cute. I’m also a peasant boy in the beginning of the play. I’m just a mischievous boy stealing apples and running away from my mother.”

The last time Ridgewood presented “Beauty and the Beast” was seven years ago when Collins’ daughter, Meredith Evans, played Belle. She is now a junior vet student at Ohio State but has come back to help design the set. In fact, she, along with her twin sister McKayla and boyfriend Billy Locke, built the set in just 48 hours. The high school art teacher has also been supervising and adding finishing touches to the set.

Although the set is important for any production, the costumes are the finishing touches that help make a production really come alive. For “Beauty and the Beast”, student costumes cost about $200 per student, or more than $3,700 for all costumes to rent for just one week. The drama department has been asking for donations from the community to help defray the cost of costumes.

One costume that will be impressive is of the former opera singer, now enchanted household object, the wardrobe.

“She has such a big personality and she’s dramatic and so am I,” said Aliyah Guthrie, who portrays Wardrobe.

One scene that Hayley thinks will really showcase the costumes is “Be Our Guest”.

“Be Our Guest is always a hit,” she said. “The kids look amazing in their costumes and there’s so much going on. It’s just a happy, feel good play.”

Tickets are $10 a piece and $8 per person for a group of 10 or more. Tickets can be reserved by calling 740-545-6345 or emailing [email protected]. The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday in the high school auditorium.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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