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‘Beauty and the Beast’ comes to Patriot Elementary

By Staff | May 8, 2012

It is the timeless story of an enchanted prince and castle staff, and an intelligent young beauty who yearns to “escape her provincial life.”

The classic Disney movie will come alive at Patriot Elementary School this Friday, May 11, at 7 p.m., The play is open to the public.

This is the “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” version of the award-winning classic, tailored to the elementary students who will bring it to life.

As quoted from the Disney original version narrative, it starts with, “Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter’s night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold.”

But then, for being cruel to the beggar, the prince was cursed to live as a beast until true love came along.

Several of the famous musical scores will be part of the action.

“The songs ‘Belle’ and ‘Be Our Guest’ are my favorite songs,” said director and teacher Dorothy Yordi of the school. “They both have all of the students involved with props, choreography, vocals and more. It has been a lot of fun getting the children ready for these two numbers.”

The full production was performed by Ida Baker High School students earlier this year.

“Ida Baker has been a wonderful help to us. We went as a group and watched their performance. They have shared props and costumes with us,” she said.

“They have also helped with other areas of the play. It has been great to work with Laura Licata, their drama teacher. She has been incredible. I am very proud of our students. They have worked very hard on this and I can’t wait to see it all come together Friday,” Yordi said.

Principle cast members include Cape students Kailyn Kluge as Belle; the Beast will be portrayed by Connor Thurman. The role of the ghastly Gaston (a lady killer) is by Karl (KJ) Kluge, and the ever charming Mrs. Potts is Mary Ann Connolly, who is featured in several song numbers. Chip (the enchanted tea cup) is Avery Jones, and the wily Lumiere will be played by Ty’Darius Timmons. The constant clock Cogsworth is Lexiss Adib-Razavi.

The production will be put on by 4th and 5th graders, a monumental task they have been practicing for weeks.

“There are actors, crew, chorus, dancers and teachers helping with every area. There are at least 50 children involved and 15 adults,” said Yordi.

“The parents have been wonderful too by helping with costumes, and rehearsal times. It has definitely taken all of us working together.”

“They are very excited to be part of the first Drama Club production,” said Patriot Principal Carol Bromby. “It was formed in January of this year.

“I think the biggest thing about the Drama Club is that we wanted to give all the kids who wanted to be part of a live production a chance to get in – and be there,” she added.

Rehearsals for such a huge endeavor have been mixed with academics.

“It (rehearsals) started once a week because of FCATS, then it became two days a week and now it’s pretty much every day.”

There are a a lot of talented kids in the Cape, she said, and especially at her school.

Patriot Elementary School is located at 711 S.W. 18th St. For information, call 242-1023.