17 Local Youth Theatre Actors Star in “Beauty and the Beast” July 25-Aug. 12

McKenna Powell and Liam Callaghan star in the Barrington Stage Youth Theatre production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” July 25-Aug. 12 at Berkshire Museum. Photo by Hester Kamin.

Barrington Stage’s Annual Youth Theatre Production
Will Get 3 Week Run at the Berkshire Museum

by Larry Murray

It’s a real test of dedication to show business, committing to a large production of a musical with a live band, lengthy and complicated rehearsals, new choreography to learn, and then showing up on time, every time, for 24 performances, with no time off for good behavior. The young actors, singers and dancers of the Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre quickly learn there are no excuses when it comes to performing at their peak, and they love it. Ask the young performers and they will tell you it isn’t “close” to the real thing, it IS the real thing, or at least as close as you are going to get to Broadway in these parts.

So it was with particular pride that Artistic Director, Julianne Boyd and Managing Director, Tristan Wilson, announced the Youth Theatre’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, to be presented – for the first time – at a new venue, the Berkshire Museum from July 25 through August 12, 2012.

A romantic musical for all generations, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the smash hit Broadway musical, is based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film. One of Broadway’s longest-running musicals, Beauty and the Beast has won the hearts of more than 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.

McKenna Powell (r) (Housatonic) and Liam Callaghan (l) (Pittsfield) star as Belle and the Beast.

Christine O’Grady returns for her sixth season at Barrington Stage as Youth Theatre Director and Choreographer. Her BSC credits include the Youth Theatre productions of All Shook Up, Into the Woods, Disney’s High School Musical, Disney’s High School Musical 2 and Seussical. O’Grady served as the Associate Choreographer for the Tony-winning revival of HAIR and the recent national tour. She also choreographed the first NY musical revivals of The Drowsy Chaperone and Ahrens and Flaherty’s A Man of No Importance for The Gallery Players. Sarah Brett England joins the company as Music Director. Jeff Roberts is Associate Music Director.

The cast of 17 is comprised of teenagers from Berkshire County, New York state and Vermont. McKenna Powell (Housatonic) and Liam Callaghan (Pittsfield) star as Belle and the Beast, with Jackson Teeley (North Egremont) as Gaston, Michael Tuffy (Stamford, VT) as Maurice, John Buckley (Pittsfield) as Lumiere, Caroline Sinico (Pittsfield) as Mrs. Potts, Joey Labrasca (Lee) as Chip, Jordan Gross (Glenmont, NY) as Cogsworth, Julia Ray (Dedham) as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Corey Potter (Housatonic) as Babette, Jake Smerechniak (Sheffield) as D’Arque, Austin Lombardi (Pittsfield) as LeFou; Samantha Patella (Lenox), Dan Garrity (Pittsfield), Evi Mahon (Williamstown), Caroline Fairweather (Pittsfield) and Victoria Aldam (Sheffield) are in the Ensemble.

Making their BSC debuts are Joey Labrasca, Jordan Gross, Jake Smerechniak, Samantha Patella, Caroline Fairweather, and Victoria Aldam.

The design team for the BSC Youth Theatre production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes Alexander Woodard (Sets), Hunter Kaczorowski (Costumes), Adam Bishop (Lights), Genevieve Bousquest Castillo (Props), Tosin Olufolabi (Sound). Kristiana Cowcer is the production stage manager.

Barrington Stage Company Youth Theatre will present Disney’s Beauty and the Beast from July 25 through August 12 at the Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7pm, Matinees Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Please note: there is no Tuesday, July 31 performance. Instead, a performance has been added on Monday, July 30 at 2pm. Tickets: $10-$15. Low-priced previews ($8 per ticket) are Wednesday, July 25 at 7pm and Thursday, July 26 at 2pm. A Museum/Theatre Pass is available for $25 (adults) and $13 (youth 18 and younger) that includes one Museum admission and one ticket to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Berkshire Museum hours during Beauty and the Beast are Mon-Tues 10am-5pm, Wed-Sat 10am until curtain of the evening performance and Sunday 12pm-5pm. Tickets and Passes are available at the Barrington Stage Box Office at 30 Union Street, by phone at 413-236-8888 and online at barringtonstageco.org.

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