Beauty & the Beast

  • A Beast of an Undertaking

    A Beauty to Behold

    Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

    Presented by Sayville High School Music and Theatre Departments

     

    In true Sayville High School tradition, the Tony-Award winning musical production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was double-cast—two sets of beasts, beauties, principles, and players—that bestowed a double dose of magic over four spectacular nights.

     

    Capturing the enchantment of this “big Broadway production” on the Sayville High School stage was no easy task. If demanding score, intricate costumes, elaborate and enormous sets were not enough challenge, add to the mix the necessity of two casts acting across the emotional spectrum of levity and gravity—all the elements that made the Broadway show such a success—and one may be as daunted as the befuddled Maurice as he enters the Beast’s dark Castle.

     

    Wonders of it all, it worked—uniquely! Given the timeframe of rehearsals and the youthfulness of the company members, each of the Sayville performances was strongly cast and successfully delivered the power and beauty of the same story. Each night the classic tale was told with distinguishing vigor and distinctive chemistry, compelling audiences to standing ovations—especially Friday and Saturday nights, when performances were sold out.

     

    Sayville High school’s tradition of double casting—and this is rare among high schools—has always meant double the work for the Producer and directors, but it has doubled the opportunity for many more of our students to grow, not just theatrically, but in their ability for public speaking. Special thanks go to Mr. Steve Hailey, who has for 30 years cast a wider net and pulled in the talent from an apparently prolific pool of Sayville students.

     

    The overall success of this undertaking relied upon so many shoulders. Additional thanks and congratulations go to everyone whose orchestra-pit or backstage talents contributed to this Music and Theatre Departments production, including but not limited to, Musical Director Fred Diekman, Orchestra Conductor Peter DeSalvo and his student musicians, Sound Supervisor Andy Giammalvo and his crew, Technical Supervisor Ken Van Essendelft along with Senior Crew Chief Keith Johnson, Dan Anderson and crew (assisted by Joe Cook, Michael Kennedy, Chris LoPreto, Glen Poli, and Fred Schreiber) who constructed the foreboding castle interior, along with scenery artist supervisor Taylor Takats, Choreographers Patricia Hough and Alena Yost, Lighting Manager GaryLeigh-Manuell with assistant Daniel Koehler and the variety of Costume and Makeup Supervision by the Sayville Players assisted by Mrs. Donna Hailey.

     

    In the end, Beauty transformed the savage Beast who “wins the world’s forgiveness”…Belle and the Prince find home, where they should be forever,” and the audience sighed, satisfied. Twas a beautiful thing, indeed!

     

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    Who couldn’t love this Beauty & Beast? (photo captions)

     

    -         In this musically retold fantasy, there dwells the intellectual Belle who was exquisitely voiced by both the amazing Christina Jackson and the incomparable Roxy York.

    -         The miserable Beast, enriched by the sonorous baritones of both actors, was passionately enraged by Thomas Mittiga, yet dramatically brooding with Jared Linehan.

    -         As Belle’s father Maurice, Doug Kenny created an absent-minded professor, while Andrew Vall embodied an eccentric inventor extraordinaire.

    -         The egotistical monster Gaston was amusingly grand as portrayed by  the swaggering James Harlin and the robust Mark Moskwa, while

    -         sidekick LoFou came to life with the comic timing of Miles Whittaker and the zany antics of Trevor Robson.

    -         Bewitched house servants animated the gloomy castle:

    o       Lumiere was played with perfect flare by the flawless Kenneth Murray and was quite debonair with Harrison Schenkel;

    o       Cogsworth was funny and fastidious in Michael Miller’s capable portrayal and a well-timed wit in Alexandra Moncayo’s;

    o       Mrs. Potts delivered her soothing outlook flavored by Amanda Rizzo’s rich tones and Kassandra Golka’s refreshing lilt;

    o       Both Chips (adorable Molly McCauley and delightful Deanna Lumley) were "Equal" in satisfying our sweet tooth;

    o       Madame de la Grand Bouche was hilariously over-the-top with Lexi Minogue’s splendid coloratura, yet hysterically embellished by Stefi Dier’s characterization;

    o       Babette couldn’t have been more flirtatious with Casey Jarvis, nor more irresistable with Mary Corrado.

     

    • The six silly girls (Tessa Buono/Angharad Rebholz, Rachel Klahn,/Kristina Schroeter, Meredith Yusko,/Tara Kenndey) were perfectly entertaining as they fawned and fainted over Gaston;
    • Sinister (M.D’Arque Lauren Dodaro, Nicholas Esdale) added another layer of evil in the plot against Belle, Maurice, and the Beast; and 
    • The colorful assortment of provincial villagers seemed content with their ordinary lives.