POTSDAM — The Community Performance Series is presenting Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” today through Sunday in Snell Theater at SUNY Potsdam.
All shows are at 7:30 p.m., except for matinee performances at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The stage version of “Beauty and the Beast” is based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature and includes all of the songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Menken and Tim Rice.
“Beauty and the Beast” marks the return of the summer musical for CPS, after being dark last summer due to theater renovations. CPS has been producing summer musicals since “Forever Plaid” in 2004.
The musical is directed by Chad Larabee, a New York City-based director. His credits include the Off-Broadway revival of Garson Kanin’s “Dreyfus in Rehearsal” and the world-premiere of the musical “POPart.” Other New York credits include “Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island,” “Do Not Disturb,” and “Molineaux.” He also directed the London premiere of “Ain’t We Got Fun” and the world- premiere of a new adaptation of “Great Expectations,” which he also wrote.
Leading lady Belle is portrayed by Erin Higgins of Waddington. The Beast is played by Justin Randolph and Gaston will be portrayed by Peter Caporal, both of New York City.
Potsdam natives in the cast are: Jeffrey Grigel as Lefou and Syl Foisy as the a cracked tea-cup, Chip. Maurice, Belle’s father, is portrayed by Morgan Hastings of Canton. The dynamic duo Lumiere and Cogsworth is played by George Scoville-Upham of Malone and David Bish of Massena, respectively. Fellow house servant Babette is played by Cecilia Snow of Schenectady, the Wardrobe is played by Melissa Becker of Lindenhurst and the mysterious D’Arque is played by Jay Kepes of Colton.
Additional cast members include, the three Silly Girls played by Emily Robideau of Massena, Megan L. Bristol of Russell, and Lauren McCarthy of North Bangor. The ensemble consists of Angela Conzone and Christopher Dwyer of Ogdensburg, Tanner Beaudin of Constable, Jonathan Atchie of Norwood, Collin Jacobs of Hogansburg, Logan Barkley of Madrid, Zackary Kelley of Gouverneur, and Juliana Alfano of Massena. Salt and Pepper, two additional roles for children, will be portrayed by Maggie Anderson of Lowville and Jaelyn Stevens of Gouverneur, respectively.
The production’s artistic team features several community professionals, as well as designers from around the U.S. CPS will bring back local music director Sara Simon-Shult , choreographer Meaghan Manor-Janovsky and orchestra conductor Tim Savage, all of whom served in these roles for the 2010 production of “Annie.”
SUNY Potsdam staff member Alexis Foster serves as the costume designer. Annmarie Duggan returns to Potsdam as lighting designer, having previously worked as resident lighting designer for multiple seasons at Music Theater North.
Jim Wildman of Canton is the show’s sound designer. Rounding out the design team is scenic designer Julia Noulin-Mera, the director of design and production for the Boston-based Guerilla Opera, and the resident set designer for two New York City-based theater companies.
The musical is made possible, in part, with public funds from the state Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties by the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, with additional sponsorship from Frazer Inc. and SUNY Potsdam.