Curtain set to rise on Disney classic

Cast of 45 brings Beauty and the Beast to Oak Bay High stage

Belle (Veronique Beaudet) soothes the Beast (Jay O’Connell) in a scene from the Oak Bay High’s upcoming musical theatre production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Oak Bay High shares a classic tale appealing to a vast audience as the finale for the annual Oak Bay High musical theatre.

A cast of 45 brings Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to the stage this month as they prepare for the final curtain to fall on the old theatre come fall when the new school is slated to open.

“It’s a big deal,” said teacher Steve Price, theatre manager who also designed the sets. “It’s bitter sweet. This is the last show.”

Grade 11 student Veronique Beaudet plays Belle, her first lead role in the high school musical, though she’s been performing for years.

“It’s still nerve-wracking to perform in front of my friends,” she said. “It’s a much higher calibre show that we’ve been doing in recent years, which is fun.”

Oak Bay High theatre is the latest stage to feature the fantastic costumes from the Victoria Operatic Society’s production of Beauty and the Beast a few years ago, adding to the drama and professionalism for the finale at the old school.

“Mr. Price has done an amazing job on the set,” Beaudet added.

“I’m really liking the set,” agreed Jay O’Connell, who plays the Beast. “It’s really extravagant. I’m looking forward to some end scenes,” as he hinted at some action-packed final scenes.

With a cast of 45 plus those working in costumes, makeup, stagecraft and lighting,  “there’s a lot of kids involved so it’s great,” said Karen Adams, director and choreographer. “This is a fantasy tale so it’s a wonderful musical to direct. The actors have been phenomenal, very committed.”

The Oak Bay High musical is based on the Walt Disney animated fantasy musical that will be familiar to many generations.

“Hopefully a lot of people can enjoy it, it’s a fairly wide target audience. It’s going to be fun to see kids in the audience,” Beaudet said. “It’s good to have an old school show for the final show in the theatre.”

“It should be a good send off. It’s a classic, lots of people know it. It’s going to be a great way to end this theatre’s life.” O’Connell agreed.

The final show in the Oak Bay High theatre opens Feb. 20 and they’ll gather as much alumni and family to fill the audience as possible.

“It’s a really good family show. A lot of younger kids will know it,” Adams said.  “It’s a fantastic way to end Oak Bay’s time in this theatre.”

Visit their page at facebook.com/obhsbeautyandthebeast2015 to download a colouring page for kids (up to Grade 8) who can win tickets to the matinee on Feb. 22. Completed pictures will go on display in the lobby of the school theatre.

The audience can meet those characters during the Sunday matinee and elementary students will see some select scenes during in-school performances.

Shows start Feb. 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22 is the Meet the Characters matinee starting at 2 p.m.

Feb. 25 to 28 features 7:30 p.m. shows.

“We want to sell it all out,” Adams said. “Let’s let the theatre have a wonderful send off.”

Tickets are available at the Sheiling in Cadboro Bay Village, Ivy’s Books on Oak Bay Avenue and at the school, 2151 Cranmore Rd. by cash or cheque. Tickets are $12/$10.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

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