FAIRMONT - Fairmont's Civic Summer Theater will perform Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" all next week at the Opera House.
The musical theater piece is based on Disney's 1991 animated release, and has been a crowd-pleaser to Fairmont theater-goers in the past.
"When we performed this a few years ago, we had several performances that were sold out," said Civic Summer Theater director Cliff Janke. "We ended up opening seats we had roped off because you could see backstage, because I didn't want to turn anyone away."
Belle, played by Alaina Helmstetter, offers herself to be the Beast’s prisoner in exchange for her father, played by Mike Foster, in Fairmont Civic?Summer Theater’s performance of “Beauty and the Beast.”
The opening scene shows how a spoiled prince was turned into an unlovable Beast by a witch he turned away when she needed shelter.
"The prince is cursed for his cruelty and showing no love, and the only way the spell can be broken is if he learns to love someone and that person learns to love him back," Janke said.
Enter Belle, the lovely inventor's daughter, who always has her nose in a book. While considered strange by the rest of the people in her French provincial village, Belle has caught the eye of the handsome yet pompous Gaston.
"No one says 'No' to Gaston," Janke said. "So when Belle has no interest in him, it throws him for a loop."
But when Belle's father loses his way and ends up being held prisoner in the Beast's castle, Belle comes to his rescue and offers to take his place.
"All the people that were in the castle were also cursed," Janke said. "We have a clock, Cogsworth, who is in charge of the household. We also have a candleholder, a feather duster and of course, Chip and Mrs. Potts."
The castle-dwellers quickly realize Belle could be the one to break the spell, which requires the Beast to try and change some of his "beastly" ways.
The villagers and the other castle members are the chorus, requiring some tricky costume changes with the elaborate "castle" costumes.
"I want you all to figure out the soonest point you can get your costume changed," Janke warns the chorus during a dress rehearsal. "Don't think that you have plenty of time. Do it as soon as you can."
Craig Germill plays the role of the Beast, while Alaina Helmstetter is Belle.
Other characters include Ethan Van Gorp as Gaston, Mike Foster as Belle's father, Matthew Stoffel as Luminer the candleholder, Bart Clayton as Cogsworth the clock, Megan Heller as Mrs. Potts, Austin Becker as Chip, and Alan Fisher as Lafou, Gaston's sidekick.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast runs Monday through July 28. Showtimes all days are 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at Hy-Vee until days of the performance, when they will be available at the Opera House.
Cost is $12 for adults and $6 for students.