By EMILY CHEN
On Thursday, March 19, the UHS Theater department opened the 2015 spring musical, Beauty and the Beast. The show, a rendition of the Disney Theatrical Production classic, stars Megan McCarthy (Sr.) as Belle, a whimsical daydreamer who stumbles into the arms of the kind-hearted but temperamental Beast, played by Natanael Cho (Sr.). The cast and crew worked together seamlessly to ensure smooth transitions, enabled by the stage crew, who quickly rearranged the scenery in complete darkness between scenes. The show was a culmination of months of hard work.
The performance of Beauty and the Beast was truly captivating. The orchestra worked in accompaniment with the theatrics, not only heightening dramatic points in the plot, but also providing a live soundtrack to the light-hearted scenes. Yoobin Chee (Sr.), a cellist in the orchestra, said, “The countless amount of hours, days and weeks that have been dedicated to Beauty and the Beast has truly led to an amazing production and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the musical again during my senior year.”
However familiar the storyline of Beauty and the Beast was, I found myself immersed into the play unfolding on the stage. The audience roared with laughter at the comedic relief present in the character of LeFou, played by Corinne Alsop (So.), and fell silent with awe during the carefully choreographed musical numbers. Alsop said, “I’ve learned so much about myself and my abilities as a comedic actor and a singer. I have been taking voice lessons for two years. A big part of vocal training is expanding your range. Over the past few months, I have learned to sing low enough for the part of LeFou, which is a traditionally male role. Playing LeFou has also taught me to make a fool of myself without feeling ashamed and to fully commit to everything I do. How can I expect an audience to believe my performance if I don’t believe in my ability to perform?” The audience responded enthusiastically to the play, commending the successful production’s first run with a full-house standing ovation.
When asked about the experience of performing in the show, and how it felt to reveal months of hard work and preparation, lead actress McCarthy said, “The show has been a joy to perform in; the audiences have been so responsive and the cast has just been having so much fun performing onstage every night. The show itself has grown so much since we had our first rehearsal and it’s so much fun to see where it is now.”
The talented cast of the UHS drama department, hard-working stage crew, and dedicated UHS staff all worked cohesively to help bring the enduring magic of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to our Big Theater with a showcase of skilled singing and acting, and detailed technical design.