A production as big as this year’s musical is a difficult feat to pull off. Working together, the school’s actors, musicians, dancers and chorus members hope to bring “Beauty and the Beast” to life.
The actors practice after school and sometimes have all-day weekend rehearsals.
“[Sometimes] you just want to run out of there and find the nearest Starbucks,” said sophomore Guanghui Wang, who plays Chip. “[Then] you see something come alive onstage and you’re so happy you’re part of this whole experience.”
Junior Noah DeMoss, who plays Maurice, did not expect to get one of the main parts, having not taken singing classes for years.
“When I saw the cast list, I was very bummed because … I looked at the minors, then the chorus and I wasn’t in either of those,” Noah said. “I reluctantly looked at the mains to see if any of my friends got good parts, and when I saw my name, it was amazing.”
Overall, the actors are enthused about the experience.
“The cast is amazing,” said sophomore Andrei Bratkovski, who plays the Beast. “[It is] a great bunch of friendly people.”
A group of about 30 musicians from both Orchestra and Wind Ensemble are in the pit. At the 2 1/2-hour daily practices, the musicians usually just run through the music as many times as they can, since they play almost the entire show.
“This is a really fun [musical],” second violin sophomore Sherry Zhang said. “We all know the songs in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and in our heads we sing along.”
But even though the musicians get to follow along with the music, being in pit can be a lot of work.
“It kind of puts you behind the scenes,” first trumpet junior Johan Mickos said. “You don’t even get to see the musical, just play the music. So it makes the experience more of a job than something done for entertainment.”
Since the original stage version does not include dancers, dance teacher April Oliver choreographed the show.
“It’s really hard to coordinate with everyone because there are so many of us,” junior Natasha Thapliyal said. “The whole cast would be on stage, and it would be really crowded.”
The dancers also sing along with the chorus during the simpler dance routines.
“It’s a little difficult to … do the steps while trying to hit some of those really high notes,” junior Katarina La Poll said.
The dancers also must learn to adapt to having multiple roles.
“In one routine we‘d be a wolf and in the next we’d be a plate,” Katarina said. “So you have to change your dance style.”
Despite these challenges, the dancers are all still excited to be a part of the show.
“It’s so incredible to…be surrounded by such talent,” junior Kira Labuda said. “Everyone’s all pumped up to be on stage together, and we all feed off each other’s energy. ”
The chorus is a group of background singers and dancers.
Junior Breana Park, also a member of Broken Box, thinks that this production has been more challenging than a normal one.
“It definitely requires a lot more work,” Breana said. “There’s just so much more singing, dancing and memorization involved.”
For sophomore Gokulesh Killer, the hardest part is “singing and dancing all at once.” Still, Gokulesh said that he loves practices for that very reason.
“I really like the rehearsals on stage,” Gokulesh said. “It’s great to see what everyone’s doing and to share what we’ve all been practicing.”
Others were fascinated to see what went on behind the scenes.
“I’ve never been in a show before, so it was nice to learn how it’s all put together,” sophomore Rachel Wang said. “We’re all just in a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ world.”