A tale as old as time

‘Beauty and the Beast’

-Submitted photo
Mary Jo Laupp directs the cast of the Fort Dodge Senior High production of Disney’s “Beauty and Beast” as they rehearse for their upcoming performance.

Spring is not the only beauty Fort Dodge Senior High will see in April.

FDSH will present the childhood story with its own spin: “Beauty and the Beast.”

You can catch the performance of “Beauty and the Beast” from April 25-28 at Fort Dodge Middle School. Curtain is at 7 p.m. April 25-27, then 2 p.m. on April 28. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students.

Many students involved in the musical can remember watching “Beauty and the Beast” as a child, and can recall dancing and singing the songs from the movie. Now, they are bringing the movie to life.

“When it comes to Belle, I’ve chosen to reference the original film,” said Karisa Meier, who plays Belle in the show. “The musical is based a lot on the film. A lot of the dialogue is the same and all the iconic songs are included. Belle’s a sweet girl, she cares a lot about her family, and that love really motivates her throughout the story. Despite this kindness, she’s extremely headstrong and brave. So the character requires a bit of balance between the sweet and sassy.”

“Beauty and the Beast” was a big movie release in 1991. For many FDSH students and recent alumni, the movie was watched frequently in their households. Consequently, hit songs will spark childhood memories in the minds of the audience, bringing them back to an enchanting tale full of love, magic, and a curse that dares to be broken.

The plot falls back to a handsome and arrogant prince turned to a beast when he uses his attitude toward the wrong woman. The begging woman offers him a rose in exchange for shelter. He rudely denies the woman shelter. She gives him the worst punishment — turning his good looks into a monstrous beast while his servants are turned into household objects. The story revolves around the enchanted rose and learning to love.

Senior High’s performance of “Beauty and the Beast” will be more similar to the older, animated film version rather than the newer one starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.

“Interesting fact — when you produce a musical there is always a contract that has to be signed with the organization that holds the performance rights,” said theater Director and Choreographer Mary Jo Laupp. “Since we are doing a Disney show, we had to sign what is called a ‘rider’ with the Disney Corporation stating that we will make sure that the conduct of our actors, our advertising, the staging of the show etc., will not damage the brand or reputation of the Disney Corporation.”

This is the last time for many young men and women participating in the show, including senior Courtney Cordle, who will be playing Babette in the show. This last time for the seniors will really be something for them to remember.

“Performing in musicals at FDSH is much bigger than just putting on a show for the community,” said Cordle. “It’s about making people feel something, and it’s about the friendships and connections and laughs that are shared. I have loved being in the musicals at FDSH. It’s always one of my favorite times of the year, so this will be bittersweet. I’m thankful for it all, though. I think everyone agrees. Everyone in the musical loves it and truly wants to be there.”

With the new 2017 release of “Beauty and the Beast,”, there could not have been a better time to perform this show. Young actors and actresses are excited to bring the movie that they watched as a child to life.

“Beauty and the Beast” is going to be an especially fun show for younger children to watch.

“This is very definitely a kid-friendly show,” Laupp said. “We’re hoping to have some of our lead actors visit the elementary schools as we get closer to the performances to get kids excited about seeing the show.”