Brookfield Central School set a pretty high challenge to itself in producing this school year’s musical.
First, the decision to move the annual production from March to November gave cast and crew a little less than two months till curtain time.
Second, in choosing ‘Beauty and the Beast’ directors Jona Snyder, Michelle Zaia and Carolyn Goodfellow shepherded 65 students - or about one-fourth of the enrollment in kindergarten through 12th - through on stage and back stage roles.
And last, after years of doing smaller shows, this year’s went all out with a full-scale production of sets, costumes, pit band and no shortcuts in telling the story.
When it all came together for two performances in the school gym that were livestreamed, those who watched were lucky to be their guests.
‘Beauty and the Beast’ is one of Disney’s better known stories revolving around Belle, played by Sara Brean, who shuns the attention of Gaston, played by Dominic Kupris, and instead finds herself captivated by the Beast. Kudos to elementary teacher Ron Pavlus, who stepped in to play the Beast after the student with the role could not. Thatcher Bugbee played the Prince when the Beast became human again.
Done well, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has depth which Brean, especially when paired on stage with Emily Turcotte, who played her father Maurice, share their dreams. They were a perfect counterpart to the egos of Gaston and his sidekick, Lefou, played by Anthony Cucci with some sass.
For all its darkness - and this tale as old as time does have that - the comedic anxiety of the talking household items balanced that well with laughs.
Grace Reilly as Cogsworth, the grandfather clock, wore a pendulum on her nose. Kylee Cucci as Lumiere, the candlestick, worse actual battery operated candles on her hands, which she had to keep in an I surrender position for the entire production.
Mrs. Potts, the teapot, played by Delaney Karn, and son Chip, the cup, layed by Stephanie Brean, made a sweet pair. And when Karn sang the musical’s signature song, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, she nailed it….