CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — The Aracoma Story Inc. (TAS) is bringing one of the most popular family musicals to its stage starting this week.
This marks the 25th year anniversary of the Disney classic. It’s the first time the show has ever been produced in the Logan area. The Aracoma Story Inc. has been trying to obtain rights to perform the show for well over a decade. The national tour kept rights in limbo until this summer. The show features the same story, characters and songs as the original production but instead of trying to re-create the cartoon, everything comes to life.
“It’s one of our most ambitious productions to date, with lavish costumes, dazzling effects, and elaborate sets,” Diana O’Briant, president of the Aracoma Story Inc. Board of Directors, said. “We have wanted to do this show for so many years and it’s finally happening this summer.”
“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” will take you to an enchanted castle for some of the most memorable characters, songs, and one of the most classic stories of all time. The show will opens this Thursday, June 9, at Chief Logan State Park in the Liz Spurlock Amphitheater. A special kid’s pre-show titled “Disney Extravaganza” will be presented at 8 p.m.; “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” will follow at 8:30 p.m.
The tale as old as time will be presented June 9-12, 16-19, and 23-26.
The production is being directed by Bill France, Robin Bunch Bailey is the musical director and Bruce Baisden is the technical director.
The show and the season is being dedicated The Aracoma Story Inc.’s long-time leader, Liz Spurlock, who passed away last month, and former board president, Jim Frye, who passed away earlier this year. “We want to celebrate their lives and their legacy with a great season on our stage,” O’Briant said.
The story begins with an enchantress (Madison Williamson), disguised as an old beggar, who offers a rose to a young prince (Landon Mitchell), in exchange for shelter in his castle from the cold, but the prince refuses. For his arrogance, the enchantress transforms him into a beast (Curtis Crum) and casts a spell on the castle. She gives him a magic mirror that enables him to view faraway events, along with the enchanted rose that she had offered. To break the spell, the prince must learn to love another and earn her love in return before the rose’s last petal falls on his 21st birthday. If he fails, he will remain a beast forever.
Ten years later, a young bookworm girl named Belle (Lindsey Gore) is bored of her village life and seeks excitement. Because of her nonconformist ideals, she is ridiculed by everyone but her father Maurice (Charles Wallace) and an arrogant, vain, and muscular hunter named Gaston (Bill France). Despite being popular with the townsfolk, Gaston is determined to marry Belle.
Maurice gets lost in the forest while traveling to a fair to present his wood-chopping machine. After being chased by a pack of wolves he comes across the Beast’s castle. Inside, he meets Lumière (Richard Ojeda) the candlestick; Cogsworth (Brandon Hill) the clock; Mrs. Potts (Deanna Crum) the teapot; her child Chip (Madison Nelson); the teacup, Madame (Ladie Viars), the wardrobe, and Babbette (Savannah Richardson) the feather duster. However, the Beast quickly discovers and detains Maurice. Gaston’s sidekick LeFou (David Spurlock) leads Belle to the Beast’s castle, where she offers to take her father’s place. Over her father’s objections, the Beast accepts Belle’s proposal. The rest is Disney legend.
The cast is also made up of Dominic Rodighiero (the narrator); Nathaniel Chapman (D’Arque); Brianna Wood (silly girl); Kaylea Egnor (silly girl); Ashley Vest (silly girl); Maddy Akers (silly girl); Jacob France (gargoyle); Riley Smith (gargoyle); Drew Workman (napkin); Kassidy Egnor (napkin); Bryna Jewell (baker’s wife); Chris Hispshire (baker); Justin Anderson (fish seller); Dawn Mills (aristocratic lady); Rylee Beth Mills (napkin); Bob Halstead (bookseller); Kalee Vernatter (rug); Robin Bunch Bailey (bar keeper); Taylor McFadden (hat seller), and Erica and Lila Picklesimer (woman and baby).
A special kid’s pre-show titled “Disney Extravaganza” will be presented before each performance, starting at 8 p.m. The special kids pre-show is being directed by Melissa Frye and will feature Denvis Ann Adams, Trinity McDevitt, Beth Sheppard, Abigail Nagy, Haylee Webb, Peyton McCoy, Kaitlyn Dingess, Kalea Fleming, Cameron Arthur, Brooklyn White, Skylar Eggers, Emily Ferrell, Griffin Frye, Jaime Robinson, Alexis Hill, Kira Lester, Caitlyn White, Allison Bradley, Natasha Fowler, Kylie Dowdy, Caydence Bevino, Rian Baisden, Samantha Eldridge and Brittany Hodges. Assistant director is Janie Freeman Lester.
Advance tickets can now be purchased in advance from Gatti’s at Fountain Place Mall, Chief Logan Conference Center, Aracoma Drug in Chapmanville, Pic Pac at Man and Apex Printing in Logan. Tickets will also be sold at the gate.
For more information, call 304-752-0253 or visit www.thearacomastory.com.
The Aracoma Story Inc. is also hosting a special “Tea with Belle” party at the Logan Country Club on June 12th from 3:30-5:30 p.m. where little girls can come to a special Disney themed tea party hosted by TAS’s own Belle, Lindsey Gore. For tickets and more information, call 304-752-0253.