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Disney classic comes to Penn-Trafford stage

| Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 7:37 p.m.

Students at Penn-Trafford High School will bring to life one of Disney's favorite animated classics when they perform the musical "Beauty and the Beast" in the high school auditorium, beginning today.

The show is being directed by longtime director Tom Bekavac, who is thrilled to be bringing the classic to the high school stage.

"Usually what we do every year is that we all sit down and talk about shows that we haven't done and what we'd like to do," Bekavac said, adding that "Beauty and the Beast" will be a vast undertaking for the group. "This is really an extensive show to put on, with all the costumes and the scenery, but we know that it is going to draw. We'll have every kid within 100 miles wanting to see this show."

Bekavac said most of the cast has seen the Broadway version of the musical and all were familiar with the show itself.

"There is a lot of opportunity in this show," he said. "There are several great parts, and this gives them (students) a chance to really perform and show off their abilities."

The cast consists of 41 students from grades nine through twelve, all of whom were ecstatic at the choice of production.

"They were all extremely excited," Bekavac said of the announcement of the show. "The parents and the kids alike. Everyone knows that this is a good show."

He said all costumes for the production have been made in house and all the scenery, including the elaborate castle, was created and constructed by parents and volunteers.

"The costumes and the scenery were made or found," Bekavac said. "We wanted to do everything ourselves so it would be done our way. We didn't want the same costumes that you always see for this. We wanted our own."

The cast and crew are ready to perform, and Bekavac said they are already fully prepared to hit the stage.

"They could do the show right now," he said. "They're ready to perform."

Cast member Alex Hogan, who plays the lovable Lumiere, was thrilled to get a great role, although he was a bit apprehensive when the show title was announced.

"I was excited, although perhaps somewhat curious about how we were going to pull off such a widely known, fantastic and magical Disney production," Hogan said. "When I found out that I received the part of Lumiere, I jumped up in front of my computer screen and screamed. I ran down the stairs to scream more at my parents.

"While 'Beauty and the Beast' is mostly thought of as a children's show, it is really for anyone one to one hundred," Hogan said. "Kids will love the costumes and the songs and the Disney magic and fun, but adults will appreciate the quality and passion of the performing as well as the beautiful story."

"Beauty and the Beast" will be performed today through Sunday and April 8-9. Show times are 7:30 for Friday and Saturday night shows and 3 for Sunday matinees. Tickets prices are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students.

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