Wilton High School presents Beauty and the Beast

Bryan Haeffele photos
The enchanted tale of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will grace the Clune Center stage this month, when the cast of this year’s Wilton High School spring musical presents the Broadway stage version of the classic story on Thursday, May 19.
Beauty and the Beast is about a girl named Belle and her journey as she becomes exposed to life beyond her provincial town.
She meets her father’s captor, the Beast — a cruel and terrifying creature, physically cursed by a wise enchantress — and feels condemned to spend her life imprisoned within the walls of the Beast’s castle. That is, until the girl recognizes goodness within the monster and becomes more of an enraptured guest than a prisoner.

As this love story unfolds, audiences may enjoy all the classic, rousing musical numbers, including the selections Be Our Guest, Gaston, and, of course, Beauty and the Beast.
Belle is played by sophomore Rachel Strazza, while the Beast is played by senior Griffin King. Gaston, played by junior Ben Senneff, assumes the role of the antagonist who relentlessly attempts to win Belle’s affection.
Meredith Walker, the show’s director, said her “favorite part of doing this show has been working with the cast.”
“I think this has been the most talented and dedicated cast we’ve had in a number of years,” she said, “so it’s really fun to show up in rehearsal and to know that you have a cast who’s going to give 500% at every rehearsal.”
In addition to putting in rehearsal time, the students are required to complete at least six hours of “tech,” which involves working with stage designer Christian Planton to paint and construct set pieces.
Also, in the effort to put together costumes for all cast members, producer Marty Kozlowski has contributed her expertise, accumulating elaborate attire for all characters.
While the entire cast, crew and staff have been hard at work, Walker said, “the hardest part in directing Beauty and the Beast was definitely making sure that all of the technical elements line up.”
“There are a lot of costumes, a lot of wigs, a lot of locations for the set,” she said. “Just a lot of moving parts in every scene and making sure that they all line up has been really challenging.”
Choreographer Kristin Ruggieri and musical director Jerold Goldstein have also contributed much of their time in putting together dance numbers and rehearsing music.
In addition to all of this assistance, professional performers and voice teachers Rick Hilsabeck and Sarah Pfisterer from Wiremill Voice Academy have put much effort into acquiring important prosthetic and makeup pieces.
Performances will take place at the Clune Center, 395 Danbury Road, at the following times:

  • Thursday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m.

  • Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m.

  • Saturday, May 21, at 4 p.m.

  • Sunday, May 22, at 2 p.m.

Prior to the Saturday and Sunday matinees, there will be a meet-andgreet for young and old alike to get pictures and autographs with Belle and her friends at a Mrs. Potts Tea Party — from 2:30 to 3:30 on May 21, and 12:30 to 1:30 on May 22.
Tickets for the show are $18 for adults and $14 for children. Tickets for the Mrs. Potts Tea Party are $10 per family.

Tickets may be purchased by emailing whstix@wilton.k12.ct.us or calling 203-834-4844.