by Lorie Lewis Ham
Beauty and the Beast Jr. opened this weekend in Fresno presented by the Children’s Musical Theaterworks (CMT). The show runs through December 15. We had the chance to talk with the show’s director Jenny Myers this week about the show.
KRL: Why did CMT chose to do Beauty and the Beast Jr.?
Jenny: CMT chose to do the show because it is a classic heart warming feel good show that’s perfect for the holidays. It also has a large cast and we are able to give several kids performance opportunities.
KRL: Why did you want to direct it?
Jenny: I chose to direct BATB Jr. Because it’s my favorite Disney movie/musical of all time. The characters are fun and whimsical yet have poignant back stories they must all face and grow from.
KRL: Have you directed other shows?
Jenny: I have directed several shows, musical theater and opera.
KRL: What age range are the cast members?
Jenny: The cast members range in age from 7 to 20 years old.
KRL: How big is the cast?
Jenny: There are 42 cast members
KRL: Who is in the cast?
Jenny: There are too many to name but here are our principals:
William Bishop- Beast
Hailey Strahm & Madelyn Knudson -Belle
Brandon Delsid- Lumiere
Tim Smith- Cogsworth
Mrs. Potts – Logan Carnation
Madame de Le Grande Bouche- Jasmine Conanan & Mallory Lazano
Babette- Ally Wettstead & Maddie Allen
Gaston- Niko Kazanjian
Le Fou- Hudson Short & Michael smith
KRL: How is the Jr. version different from the regular Beauty and the Beast?
Jenny: The Junior version is very similar it’s just shorter. It doesn’t have as much dialogue or as many songs. The songs that are in the Jr. version are shorter.
KRL: Where there any special challenges to directing this show?
Jenny: There are definitely some challenges we have to completely transform enchanted objects into humans the most complicated transformation is the Beast. He has to transform in less than eight minutes. Oh and the costumes and wigs are amazing thanks to Trina Maxon – Short, and our hair and make up artists Adamme from Adamne Artistry and Amber Creuger.
Beauty and the Beast Jr. runs from December 6-15 at the Fresno Memorial Auditorium, 2425 Fresno Street, Fresno. For more information visit CMT’s website or call (866) 973-9610.
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