INA - Pyramid Players, a local theater troupe, is celebrating its 35th season with a rendition of the Broadway version of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." This production features young performers throughout Southern Illinois.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. today and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the air-conditioned Rend Lake College Theatre on the Ina campus.
Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" tells the story of Belle, a beautiful young woman who never quite fits in. Pursued by the arrogant Gaston, Belle longs for something more. And, when her father is captured by the Beast, she finds love despite the Beast's surface ugliness. Yet, this love must grow before the final petal falls from the rose or the enchanted creatures will never become human once again.
The show is directed by Pam Kimball, Benton High School drama teacher, and Alisa Leffler, Benton Middle School vocal director, with assistance from numerous people, including Bethany Sink, Justin Kimball, Aletha Jackson, Gail Scimeca, Steven Crawford, Alison Blair, Curtis Galloway and Abby Wilburn. Traci and Preston Trill and Brian and Susan Summers also will assist with box office, publicity, sound, lights technical effects.
"This has truly been a team effort," Kimball said. "The parents have also just been wonderful about helping with everything from organization to costumes and scenery. This is a beautiful show, perfect for the entire family. Children will love it, as well as adults.
The cast has gathered from various communities to present this musical. Belle will be portrayed by Emma Webster of Ewing and Kayla Krapf of Benton. Belle's father, Maurice, is Mason Motsinger of Christopher. From Carterville, the show will feature Cameron Smith as the Beast, Michael Terrana as Lumiere and Jodi McCann as Madame de la Grande Bouche. Also from Benton are Courtney Knight as Babbette, Stuart Thomas as Gaston, Kanon Cantrell as Chip and Emeri Farnam as Mrs. Potts. Also playing Chip, from West Frankfort, is Paxton Griffith. Gaston's sidekick, Lefou, will be played by Jacob Harris of Christopher. And, Dakota Tostado from McLeansboro will play Cogsworth. The evil Monsieur D'Arque will be portrayed by Anthony Pierce of Du Quoin.
Other cast members travel from Mount Vernon, Sesser, Christopher, West Frankfort, Ewing, Waltonville, Du Quoin, Johnston City, Chicago, Springhill, Tenn., and Denton, Texas, and include Natalie Aiken, Madalyn Hintz, Kenzie Barnett, Riley Cornett, Tommi Poe, Grace Gomes, Ashtyn Cornett, Riley Scarbrough, Tessa Childers, Jenna Jones, Olivia Dennison, Courtney Denbow, Brittany Britton, Jordan Richey, McKinley Carber, Jeremy Clements, Ryan Webster, Caleb Gomes, Karrina Stanley, Cassie Vessel, Ember Milby, Kelisy Ann Lynn Grob, Rochel Gomes, Katlin Jackson, Brianna Morgan, Vanessa Benenberger, Kara Krapf, Jade Clements, Delaney Leffler, Danielle Scimeca, Nicole Scimeca, Ellie Barnett, Maggie Stacey, Kiley Cox, Korinn Cox, Jaedyn Shelton, Carlie Page, Korben Cox, Jonathan Gomes, David Gomes, Christopher Clements, Auria Tessone, and Evan DeRosia.
Seats are reserved and tickets may be ordered by calling Susan and Brian Summers, co-founders and directors of the Pyramid Players, at 618-521-1794. Tickets are $12.