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Behind the Scenes of Beauty and the Beast

As most of you should know by now, our school is putting on Beauty and the Beast for our spring musical. But what some of you might not fully understand is all the hard work and dedication that truly goes into putting on a production like this. So, through the course of this article, I am going to take you through the journey and the process of what it is like to prepare for this show. 

During the last two weeks, I have managed to talk to cast, crew, and pit members about what prepping the show looks like for them. Everyone's answers varied, but they all said something about  learning lines and a lot of late nights. Beauty and the Beast rehearsals started back in the beginning of February and every cast member has put their blood, sweat, and tears into this show.

And with this being said, it is finally opening night!

And with it being opening night, I am going to take you through the process of Beauty and the Beast, behind the scenes edition! Through the course of rehearsals over the past two weeks, I have managed to talk to and interview many of the cast members with a variety of different questions. Starting off, I went to Thomas McCarthy, who plays our Beast. Thomas has been in LP for all four years of high school. When I asked him what made him decide to do this show, he told me “I wanted to do one last big show and this is one of my favorite shows so I was excited knowing I got the chance to do this production.” With this being his last show with Lancer Productions, he wanted to make sure he made a lasting impression as well as make sure that everyone is comfortable around the cast. One of the things Thomas has really worked on to portray the Beast was making sure he was acting out the character the right way, not just for him but for his other cast members as well. Fun fact: if Thomas could be anyone in the cast other than the Beast, he would be Gaston because “he is really fun and he has a fun part to play.” With this being Thomas’s last opening night with Lancer Productions, we are definitely a little sad, but we know he is going to kill it and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for him. 

Next, I interviewed our Belle, who is played by Hannah Noonan. She stated, “I put in a lot of hard work and effort to make this show as good as I can for everyone else.” Hannah is a senior this year, and this is her last show with Lancer Productions. She has starred in many shows and simply can not pick just one favorite because “they all offer different things.” Like all the other cast members, Hannah has been with Lancer Productions all four years of high school. With all of the rehearsal time and practice the hardest number she has had to do in this show would have to be Beauty and the Beast. When asked, she said, “[Thomas and I] are not dancers so doing a waltz number is kinda difficult to get under our feet.” But with a lot of practice and a lot of hard work, They have managed to get the number down and can’t wait for people to see it. Having this as her last show is bittersweet because Beauty and the Beast was supposed to be her freshman show, but because of covid they couldn’t do it. Seeing Hannah leave Lancer Productions is going to be sad, but we can’t wait to see what she does in the future. 

Riley is another one of the main characters in the show, Cogsworth, who is the head of the Beast's castle and has many funny lines and moments throughout the entirety of the show. When I asked Riley why he was doing the show, he replied, “the thought of performing with friends for the last time is very heartwarming.” With this also being his last show, he definitely had some tricks up his sleeve when it came to preparing for a show. One of the things he said he really had to focus on was gaining a proper British accent, as well as memorizing his lines. Most rehearsals start after school and go until around 10 o’clock at night. With long nights preparing for the show, there is a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into preparing all the numbers. One of Riley's favorite numbers to perform in the show is Mob Song! Mob Song is a very upbeat song when the villagers are on their way to the Beast's castle to attack. There is a lot that goes into the performance of the Mob song but that is what makes it such a fun number to perform. Riley reported that one of the harder numbers to perform would have to be the big opening song, which is Belle. Riley’s reasoning to this was “it has too many moving parts” as well as the number is one of the longer ones to perform. It is a bittersweet feeling with this being Riley's last opening night with Lancer Productions, but the show is going to be amazing and we are so happy to have him playing Cogsworth. 

The next person I got the chance to interview was Amber Bauswell, who plays Mrs. Potts. Amber, as well as Thomas and Riley, is also a senior. This is her fourth year with Lancer Productions and in her words, “it means the world to me.” Through the course of the past four years, Amber has made many great friends and that was another reason as to why she wanted to do the show. Preparing for the show looked a little different from Amber's perspective than from some of the others. During the show, she is working with Chip, who is played by two 10 year olds named Elena Skadal and Jax Huntley. Chip is Mrs. Potts' son, so Amber had to work on making their connection look authentic. Amber explained, “If it doesn’t look like Mrs. Potts loves her son, the plot would make no sense.” Yes, working on lines and memorizing them was important to Amber as well, but working on the connection was just as important. Amber said her favorite number to perform is obviously Beauty and the Beast because “this is my song.” We will definitely miss having Amber on stage in upcoming performances with Lancer Productions but we can’t wait to see what she will do in the future. 

Taking a step away from some of the cast members, another person I interviewed was Robert Palmer, who plays French Horn 2 in the pit for this show. Now, being in the pit orchestra is really fun, but also really stressful because it is the music for the show. Every song you hear is played by fellow classmates as well as some professional musicians. So, of course, prepping for the show as a pit member looks different than prepping for the show as a cast member. Robert stated that “an hour before rehearsal I will practice even more to make sure I kinda know my part.” Just like the actors, Robert also has a favorite number that he likes to play. When I asked he responded with “Belle, because it isn’t painful to play and it’s also kinda easy to do now that I know the part.” And when there is a favorite song to play there is also a least favorite. His is either Gaston or Mob song because “they are really fast.” Like everyone else, Robert is also a senior this year. Beauty and the Beast may be his first time performing in a pit orchestra but he and his amazing french horn skills will definitely be missed in the future. 

Overall, every single person who is involved in Beauty and the Beast has been dedicated to this production and is beyond excited to show off what they have been practicing. So, if you haven’t already, you should Buy Tickets Here!

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