D.W. Poppy presents Beauty and the Beast
The magic of true love, inner beauty and dancing teapots is what’s in store for audiences at D.W. Poppy Secondary from Feb. 28 to March 3, as the school’s theatre and music departments join forces to present Beauty and the Beast.
And Disney fans of all ages are invited to be their guest.
“We wanted to do a family show, especially after doing Grease last year,” said Poppy drama instructor, Amber Inglis.
And the timing couldn’t have been better, she said, thanks to a touring production of the Broadway show that just came through Vancouver.
“They did all our advertising for us,” she laughed.
Because the play is based on the 1991 movie, the story follows the Disney screenplay almost to the letter, Inglis said, so it will be very familiar to audiences.
And, as anyone who is acquainted with the tale knows, inanimate objects — candlesticks, clocks and dishes — must be brought to life and a convincing beast created to reign over the chaos.
To that end, “costumes were my number one thing,” Inglis said.
Designed and sewn by Stephanie Dieleman (the mother of one of Inglis’ students) with help from other parents and the school’s sewing teacher, the costumes are expected to be breathtaking.
“I know they’re going to be spectacular,” Inglis said.
“She was the first phone call I made when we decided to do Beauty and the Beast.”
Make-up was less of a concern, however. Because the beast has to transform on stage into a handsome prince, the best option was a mask and wig.
Musically, the show is fairly advanced, Inglis said.
The production features 50 performers, accompanied by a student orchestra.
With musicals having become the norm for high school productions, it’s important for students to have that background, she said.
“We’re lucky to have a fairly strong music program at Poppy.
“All our leads are accomplished singers.”
That doesn’t happen by chance. At the beginning of the school year, anyone who expresses an interest in theatre is strongly encouraged to join one of the school’s vocal ensembles, Inglis said.
Grade 12 student Glen Jackson, who plays the beast, performs in a band and Amara Gelaude (Belle), who is also in her last year at the school, is a long-time choral student as well.
This year’s show contains a good mix of veteran performers and newcomers, Inglis said.
“We had some pretty strong Grade 8s show up for auditions and there are some pretty strong Grade 12 students we’re going to lose next year,” she said.
“You always look at the cast and think, ‘Oh, no. What are we going to do next year?’”
But experience has taught her that there are always younger students who have been literally waiting in the wings for their turn to step into the lead roles and shine.
And if beautiful, well-executed songs and elaborate costumes aren’t enough to tempt you, the promise of a fairy tale ending ought to do the trick.
“There’s a lot of humour in it and it’s a very touching story,” said Inglis.
D.W. Poppy’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast runs from Feb. 28 to March 3 at 7 p.m., with a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday, March 3.
Evening performances are $10 for adults and $8 for students, seniors and children. Matinee admission is $7/$5.
Tickets are available from the school office or at the door. Poppy is located at 23752 52 Ave.