The Portsmouth Area Arts Council & Children’s Theatre have been working hard over the past few months to perfect their performance of Beauty and the Beast Jr. which premieres Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.
“We started with auditions in August and rehearsals four nights a week after labor day,” said Executive Director Becky Lovins. “The kids love the show, the music is infectious, they love the story, they love the characters. I think it’s one of everybody’s favorites.”
The familiar fairy-tale is based upon the original Broadway production that ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, and the Academy award-winning motion picture. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR. The performance also features popular songs by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Menken and Tim Rice.
The production features over 60 children, from ages 6 to 18.
“It’s a pretty familiar musical so I think that the kids have really had a great time becoming those characters,” said Director Susan Foster. “We haven’t really had any issues, all the kids are doing well and they’re very excited.
If you’re not familiar with the tale, Beauty and the Beast Jr. tells of Belle, a young woman in a small provincial town and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But things look uncertain for the Beast and his household, if he does not learn, he will be stuck for all eternity.
Fletcher Holbrook will be performing as the Beast and Julianna Parlin will be performing as Belle.
Parlin is no stranger when it comes to the stage, she has been a part of the children’s theater for over 5 years and has stared in over 20 shows.”It’s been fun and challenging, there’s more of an emotional side to this character so getting into that has been different,” said Parlin.
The show will run Nov. 18-19 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, 940 Second Street. Tickets are $10-$12 and are available at the McKinley Box Office by calling 740-351-3600.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.