By: Georgeanna Spellman

On Friday, September 1st, the magical story of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens at The Owen Theatre at 225 Metcalf in downtown Conroe!  The Players Theatre Company is proud to bring this production to The Owen Stage as the lead show for the groups 51st Season!

The cast of forty-seven very talented actors, singers, and dancers is anxious to bring the story of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST to life on The Owen’s stage.  The story of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is based on a true story that took place long ago in France. While the real story of Petrus and Catherine Gonsalvus did not have magic clocks or dancing dishes, it was a story of love and courage. Petrus suffered from a genetic condition known as Ambras Syndrome which caused him to have an abnormal amount of hair growth making him appear to be a beast. Catherine saw beyond his looks and discovered the wonderful person hidden behind “the beast.” In Disney’s story, Belle does the same and not only discovers her true love, but saves the lives of all in the castle who have been cursed by an Enchantress’ magic spell.

Disney brought the story to life in one of its most beloved full-length animated productions. Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST premiered in 1991 on the big screen to the delight of audiences. It was Disney’s 30th animated feature film. The stage production exhibits Alan Menken’s beautiful music score with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rich, and book by Linda Woolverton. The Players Theatre Company’s production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theatre International (MTI).

The Players’ production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is directed and choreographed by Carole Lamont. Robert Lewis joins Carole once again as the Vocal Director for the show and Sal Jimenez picks-up the baton to conduct the show’s orchestra. Orchestra members include: Vicky Williamson (Flute/Piccolo), Pamela Tamburello (Oboe/English Horn), Rachel Jimenez (Clarinet), Jennifer Kirk (Trumpet), Mike Williamson (Trombone), Noelle Cooper (Violin), Daniela Arevalo (Cello), Josh High (Bass), John Paddie (Drums), Robert Lewis (Piano), and Kirk Jimenez (Keyboard).

Carole, Robert, and Sal have worked together on three shows at The Owen for The Players. “We have a great team that started with MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. We then worked on Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID and have teamed-up once again to bring Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST to life on The Owen stage,” stated Carole. “I couldn’t do it without them. And, I certainly couldn’t and wouldn’t attempt a show without the wonderful assistance of the truly talented one in the family – my husband, Joey Lamont, my Technical Director and Set Designer. “

Rounding out the Production and Design staff are Lynn Peverill as the show’s Costumer assisted by Janet Rowe, Ivy Brown, Katelyn Killian, and Abigail Townes, Roger Ormiston as the Lighting Designer, Mike Ragan and Ashley Lambright designing the show’s sound, Angie Miller creating The Beast’s persona and taking on the production’s scenic design and make-up needs, and Adam Isbell working magic with hair and wigs. Diana Egley takes the reigns back-stage as the show’s Stage Manager with Conner Waxler as the Stage Crew Manager. They will be assisted by Stage Crew Members Kayla Adams, Robert Egley, Jenna Kirk, Nico Montalvo, Chellie Mosley, and Kevin Downs who will keep the show running smoothly. Kerri Edwards and Beverly Watson will run sound during the show, and Katelyn Killian will be in the light booth.

Taking command of the stage in the lead roles of Belle and The Beast are triple threats Kelly Schroeder and Dave Kerr who were last seen in The Players production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID as Mersister Atina and King Triton. Gaston is portrayed by the talented Trevor Hall with his sidekick Lefou played by the wonderful comedic actor Mark Waddell. Player Theatre Company audience favorites grace the stage with Philip Harris as Belle’s father Maurice, Zachary Kirk as Cogsworth, Joshua Yost as Lumiere, Kimberly Lambright as Mrs. Potts, Sarah Kerr as Madame DeLaGrandeBuche, Kathleen Baker as Babette, and Andi Roberts as the Enchantress. Newcomer Darren Orta is the show’s Narrator and Monsieur D’Arque. Also new to The Owen stage is Della Wallace as Chip. Up and coming Ethen Garcia who was last seen in WEST SIDE STORY is The Prince. Avea Zamora, Payton Mixon, and Ashley Lambright brighten the stage and win hearts as the Village’s Three Silly Girls. The Villagers are portrayed by the talented ensemble of Adrian Banda, Emma Broussard, Paul Broussard, Christina Cooper, Perrin Cooper, Landon Edwards, Meredith Fisk, Ethen Garcia, Giny Gonzalez, Kelley Harris, Dan Jackson, Amy Kramr, Gracie Kramr, David Martinez, Steve Murphree, Landon Pate, Alec Patton, Kati Robison, and Sierra Westra. The talented Castle Residents are portrayed by Grace Brown, Mikka Dela Cruz, Lauren Ferro, Abigail Hudson, Elizabeth Hudson, Cailin Kerr, Monaé Lott, Monique Lott, David Martinez, Jacelyn Miles, Landon Pate, Andi Roberts, Kelley Anne Roland, and Danielle Stringfellow. Christina Cooper, Lauren Ferro, and Sierra Westra also portray wolves.

“This is a show that is not just for kids – it is truly a show that will touch the hearts of all ages. The music is simply beautiful and the voices that will grace The Owen stage in this production are superb. I couldn’t have asked for a better cast; their chemistry is incredible. They all truly bring the magic of Disney to Conroe!” remarked Carole.

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens at The Owen Theatre Friday, September 1st and runs through Saturday, September 23rd. Shows are Friday and Saturday nights, September 1,2,8,9,15,16,22 and 23 at 8pm. Sundays, September 10 and 17 at 2pm. For information or to purchase tickets, please call 936-539-4090 or visit our website at www.owentheatre.com.

“Sunday Tea with Belle” will be held after each of the two Sunday matinees on September 10th and 17th. Cost is $10 per child. Reservations are required and the “Tea” starts at 5:00 pm after the performances. You do not have to attend the performance to attend the “Tea.” Kids are encouraged to dress-up like their favorite Disney Princess or Prince or Villain.

Also, check our Facebook page, The Players Theatre Company at  facebook.com/ThePlayersTheatreCompany, for more information about The Players’ upcoming 51st Season.

This is a must see show so don’t wait to make your reservations to see Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Tickets are on sale now and are going fast!