• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

‘Beauty and the Beast’ opens at WCHS tonight

With so many talented singers, Woodford County High School’s director of choirs, Cooper Schrimsher, knew this would be a good year to do a stage production of “Beauty and the Beast” at WCHS.

“It’s a tough show – at least in this space, but we have done an incredible job,” said Schrimsher. “The kids have worked countless hours on this. It’s going to be an incredible show.”

The chemistry of his cast onstage, coupled with an orchestra to accompany these voices make this musical work, he added.

WCHS senior Connor Akers said being cast as the Beast was a nice change of pace for him because he gets to sing some really good songs and has some really strong moments in this iconic musical.

“You have to split from all of the other versions of it and create something original,” he explained.

Kevin Lausche described portraying Lumie’re – the candlestick – as an opportunity to play a fun, outgoing character who adds humor to the story. He also gets to sing the popular “Be Our Guest,” which he and Emily DeBold also choreographed.

“…Be bigger and brighter,” said Kevin, “…that’s what we told them to do … The vocals really help the choreography too because they’re so energetic and ecstatic and animated. So that gives us a chance as choreographers to make the moves big and bright…”

Connor said he knew “Beauty and the Beast” was a huge undertaking for Schrimsher, their first-time director, but he also understands why producing this stage version on the heels of the recent movie release would help draw a larger audience for their upcoming performances.

“I love this show,” said Lausche, because this musical allows its actors to go outside the box to play “silly characters like Lumie’re and Cogsworth and the Beast…”

“Beauty and the Beast” opens tonight (Thursday) at 7. Other performances are Friday at 7, with two shows Saturday – a matinee at 2 and a final performance at 7. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, with free admission for elementary school student accompanied by an adult, who wears a prince or princess costume at Thursday’s opening night or Sunday’s matinee.

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