Scaffolding Theatre Company and New Mexico State University Theatre Arts' intriguing version of Disney's classic tale is based on the animated film whose twenty-fifth anniversary is being celebrated with a live-action remake this year. The musical includes music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and a book by Linda Woolverton. According to co-director Justin Lucero “As with Chicago, and all of our Scaffolding productions, our presentation will include all the songs you know and love, like ‘Be Our Guest’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ yet we have re-envisioned the show to enhance its theatrical magic in a new way.”
The ten-member cast portrays three generations of a modern family who’ve gathered in the grandpa’s cluttered but welcoming home to reenact this timeless fairy tale. Each actor will step into various roles using the grandparents’ readily available teacups, candlesticks, clocks, stacks of books, taxidermy, and other trinkets to tell the familiar story.
“Many critics’ main complaint about the very successful Broadway production was that it didn’t invite the imagination,” says co-director Megan McQueen. “We don’t hide that we don’t have the resources to create ten incredible matching fork costumes, and we think choreographing actual tap dancing forks is a fun spin on how the show has always been approached.”
The cast includes Veronica Bissell as Belle, Mario Ragazzone as the Beast, Brandon Brown as Gaston, Algernon D’Ammassa as Lumiere, Cameron Lang as Cogsworth, and Amanda Bradford as Mrs. Potts. Rounding out the ensemble are Daniela Castorena, Brianna Chavez Chacon, Harmony Schlesinger, and Xodia Choate.
Pianist Ginny May is joined by cello and flute to accompany the production. Bob Diven designed the set.
The mission of Scaffolding Theatre Company is to produce musicals uniting experienced musical theatre performers with promising novices, accompanied by professional musicians, with a focus on process as much as product.
"When we founded the company, we wanted to tap into our backgrounds as educators and infuse our work with a sense of "scaffolding" - that is, a solid foundation of practicality upon which is a constant layering of artistry and growth," say founders Justin Lucero and Megan McQueen. This solid foundation has won Scaffolding Theatre Company national acclaim, including recognition by Playbill for their groundbreaking interpretation of Chicago.