Tale as old as time
Community theater group to perform ‘Beauty and the Beast’
The beauty and the beast will be just a portion of the sound on stage for this year’s musical production at Marion Ross Performing Arts Theater.
“I think we have really, really outstanding chorus and leads,” director Gordy Handeland said of the cast. “…It’s going to be a really big sound.”
Mollie Mickelson, who plays Belle in Albert Lea Community Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast,” said the audience can expect some big en masse pieces thanks to the ensemble — but Handeland said he only has to fit the entire cast on stage one time.
Handeland said there are 54 people cast in the show, which opens Thursday. Those 54 were part of 104 total people to audition, Handeland said.
“That’s probably the most ever (to) audition,” he said. Several of those in the musical will be veteran actors, but there are some new ones from Mason City, Clear Lake, Waseca and New Richland coming to Albert Lea to participate.
“I don’t think we have a weak link in it,” Handeland said of the production.
The cast size means ensemble pieces will be some big action on a smaller stage.
“It should be pretty eventful for the audience,” Handeland said. “I think the audience is really going to like it.”
The stage will also have a movable set, which Handel said he hopes will make seamless transitions. Accompaniment will be provided live by a seven-member pit orchestra.
Alex Johnson, who plays the Beast, said the cast will be putting all of their effort into the show.
“They know the story,” Johnson said. “How can we tell it a little differently?”
And in doing so, Mickelson said she believes the show will engage the audience.
“The audience will be drawn into the variety of emotions the show has,” she said.
“Beauty and the Beast” will be performed Thursday through Sunday and from July 18 through 21 at Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.
What: “Beauty and the Beast”
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and July 18-21, 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center
Cost: $20 for adults and $10 for students
More info.: Tickets can be purchased by phone at 1-877-730-3144, online at actonbroadway.com, at the box office or at the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau
Belle: Mollie Mickelson
Maurice: Steve Stoneking
Gaston: Andrew Anderson
Lefou: Jenni Martin
Monsieur D’Arque: Patrick Menning
Cogsworth: Travis Nemec
Lumiere: Chris Martens
Babette: Rachel Hall
Mrs. Potts: Lisa Sturtz
Madame Bouche: Sue Jorgensen
Chip: Joshua Brooks
The Beast: Alex Johnson
Silly Girls: Grace Chalmers, Emma Martinson, Lydia Saxton
Adult Women Ensemble: Maegan Boyer, Isabelle Brown, Christy Compton, Deborah Dyvig, Julia Dyvig, Zsofi Eastvold, Charley Fleek, Elizabeth Harty, Gretta Larson, Erin Lowe, Tierney Murtaugh, Christie Ness, Natania Raatz, Krista Reeder, Betsy Smith, Julie Stoneking, Carley Talamantes
Adult Men Ensemble: Nikolai Brinda, Patrick Carew, Jareth Cross, Braden Deal, Ethen Eriksmoen, Matt Larson, Kyle Nelson, Ian Olson, Logan Peterson, Tony Segura (Baker), Donovin Weber, Luke Zacharias (Book seller)
Children Ensemble: Callie Brownlee, Maya Fuller, Conner Hanson, Natalie Raatz, Noah Raatz, Makenna Reeder, Elizabeth Romano, Nora Smith, Brooke Tufte, Ava Wangsness